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What You Need to Know About Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Oct 26, 2021

Contact the truck insurance pros at American Insuring Group. Serving Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.If you own a fleet of trucks, are an independent truck driver, or use trucks for business, you need Commercial Truck Insurance. The right truck insurance helps protect you, your truck, your business, and the public.

State and federal agencies require some types of insurance. For example, the Motor Carrier Act (MCA) of 1980 requires minimum liability limits for trucks over 10,000 pounds ranging from $750,000 to $5 million per accident, depending on what is being transported.

Unfortunately, the minimum insurance requirement is often not enough to keep you in business after an accident, which is why it’s important to consider higher limits and additional types of insurance.

Did you know?

  • The average cost of a large truck crash involving a fatality is $3.6 million per crash.
  • A collision with injuries costs almost $200,000 per crash.
  • The average cost of all large truck crashes is about $91,000 per crash.

Having the proper insurance coverage and the right limits will help keep your trucks on the road.

NOTE: Commercial Truck Insurance is not the same as Commercial Auto Insurance because the risks associated with hauling large amounts of materials across state lines are very different from those associated with a delivery van driving around the city.

Types of Commercial Truck Insurance

Primary Liability Insurance (Aka Trucking Liability Insurance) is the minimum insurance required; however, it only covers injuries to other people or damage to other vehicles in the event of an accident. It does not cover your truck, your driver, lawsuits, etc.

General Liability Insurance covers additional risks, such as customer injuries, property damage, and advertising injuries. It helps protect your business from the cost of lawsuits. This type of insurance is often required for leases and contracts.

Physical Damage Insurance (AKA Collision Coverage) is not required by law but covers the cost of fixing or replacing damaged tractors or trailers. Typically, this type of insurance does not cover damage to cargo, drivers’ personal items, tools, electronics, or any equipment that is not permanently attached.

Cargo Insurance covers cargo in transit. Typically, it covers the loss or damage to cargo caused by collision, fire, heavy weather, equipment breakdown, theft, and running over or striking the cargo. There are usually exclusions for certain types of cargo, such as art, jewelry, live animals, and explosive materials.

Trailer Interchange Insurance covers physical damage for trailers pulled under a trailer interchange agreement and typically covers damage caused by collision, fire, theft, and vandalism.

Bobtail Insurance (Aka deadhead insurance) is a type of liability insurance that provides coverage when you are bobtailing a truck – operating a truck without an attached trailer or semitrailer.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required by most employers under Pennsylvania law. It provides medical expenses and lost wages for employees for work-related injuries or illnesses, protects your business from lawsuits, and helps you stay compliant with state regulations.

How to Lower Truck Insurance Costs the Easy Way

Many factors affect insurance premiums, such as where and what you are hauling, the condition of your equipment, etc. However, you can take steps to lower your insurance costs, such as hiring safe drivers, implementing a safety program, increasing deductible amounts, and working with an insurance agent who has experience with the unique needs truck drivers and trucking companies face.

The agents at American Insuring Group have been helping truck drivers and trucking companies for years to ensure they have the right coverage. And as independent agents, they compare the cost of your coverage with several insurance companies to ensure that you get the lowest rates on that coverage.

→ Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

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

3 Most Common Restaurant Injuries and Tips to Avoid Them

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 16, 2021

3 Most Common Restaurant Injuries and Tips to Avoid ThemThe more accidents you have in your kitchen and the more claims you file, the higher your Restaurant Insurance costs. And we all know how dangerous restaurant kitchens can be. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 93,800 nonfatal injuries and illnesses in full-service restaurants in 2019, and about one-third of those injuries required at least one day away from work.

These injuries are costing restaurants thousands of dollars every day – both directly and indirectly. Direct costs include wage replacement, litigation costs, property losses, etc. Indirect costs include loss of productivity, OSHA fines, damage to your business reputation, workplace disruptions, etc.

Create a safer kitchen to prevent injuries, and you not only lower the cost of your insurance premiums, but you also create a better work environment, save yourself a lot of headaches, and save on many other operating costs. Here are three of the most common restaurant injuries, according to QSR magazine, and tips to avoid them.

Lacerations and Punctures

With all the knives, slicers, and breakable dishes and glasses, it should come as no surprise that lacerations and punctures are among the most common injuries in restaurant kitchens. Here are fifteen tips to minimize the risk of lacerations and punctures.

  1. Keep knives sharp
  2. Use the right knife for the right job
  3. Store knives in a rack or knife block – not loose in a drawer
  4. Curl fingers of the hand holding the food under when chopping, mincing, etc.
  5. Wear cut-resistant gloves
  6. Use a cutting board
  7. Clean knives immediately after use
  8. Don’t try to catch a falling knife
  9. Install machine guards
  10. Maintain all equipment
  11. Train employees on the proper use of knives and equipment
  12. Don’t wear loose clothing or jewelry that can get stuck in equipment
  13. When washing glasses, don’t quickly change the water temperature
  14. Don’t stack glassware
  15. Don’t allow glasses to rub against each other

Burns

Again, with all the hot grease, boiling water, hot stoves, and ovens, it should come as no surprise that burns are one of the most common injuries in restaurant kitchens. QSR reports that “As many as one-third of occupational burns occur in restaurants, totaling about 12,000 reported cases per year, although the actual number is projected to be much higher.” Here are fifteen tips to avoid burns in your restaurant kitchen

  1. Turn pot handles away from burners
  2. Never leave handles sticking out over the edge of the stove
  3. Adjust burn flames, so they cover only the bottom of the pan
  4. Avoid overcrowding range tops
  5. Don’t leave hot oil or grease unattended for any length of time
  6. Slowly lift lids to allow steam to escape
  7. Keep hair, clothing, and flammable materials away from open flames
  8. Ask for help to move very heavy pots that are hot or contain hot ingredients
  9. Use fryer baskets
  10. Don’t fill fryer baskets more than halfway
  11. Install splash guards on fryers
  12. Remove excess ice crystals on food before placing in fryer
  13. Dispose of oil correctly
  14. Wear protective clothing, such as gloves
  15. Use hot pads, pot holders, etc.

Sprains and Strains

Improper lifting, overreaching, tripping, etc., can cause sprains and strains in restaurant kitchens. Here are fourteen tips to minimize the risk of this type of injury.

  1. Wear slip-resistant shoes
  2. Clean up spills immediately
  3. Use signs to warn of potential hazards
  4. Keep walkways clean and free from tripping hazards
  5. Avoid carrying loads that block your view
  6. Ensure there is adequate lighting
  7. Store heavier items on the middle shelves
  8. Use a ladder or step stool instead of reaching above your shoulder height
  9. Use hand trucks to move items when possible
  10. Use anti-fatigue mats
  11. Use mechanical equipment to limit repetitive tasks when possible
  12. Provide training on safe lifting techniques
  13. Take breaks from repetitive tasks
  14. Avoid awkward positions

Regular employee training and the enforcement of safety procedures are crucial to minimizing injuries. Every restaurant kitchen should also have a first aid kit handy and make sure that several workers in the kitchen know how to treat minor injuries properly.

How to Save on Restaurant Insurance Costs

Developing a safe work environment is a significant step to reduce Restaurant Insurance costs, but it isn’t the only step restaurant owners can take. The experienced agents at American Insuring Group can offer additional ways to lower your Restaurant Insurance costs. So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online and start saving today!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Lancaster PA, Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs

Reduce WC Costs with Designated Health Care Providers

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 09, 2021

Reduce Workers Comp Costs with Designated Health Care ProvidersOne way to reduce the cost of Workers’ Compensation Insurance is by managing medical expenses. One way Pennsylvania employers can manage medical costs is by providing a list of designated health care providers.

The PA Workers’ Compensation Act allows employers to establish a list of designated health care providers and states that injured employees “must seek treatment for the work injury or illness with one of the designated providers for 90 days from the date of the first visit.” Without this list, injured employees can seek medical treatment from any provider.

Creating a list of good health care providers for your injured employees not only helps you manage health care costs and lower WC insurance; it also helps ensure that your injured employees receive the best care possible. First, however, there are guidelines providers must follow.


      • The list must be posted in an area where employees will see it.
      • There must be at least six providers on the list.
      • Three of the providers must be physicians.
      • A maximum of four providers can be coordinated care organizations.
      • The list must include the providers’ name, address, telephone number, and area of medical specialty.
      • Providers must be geographically accessible.
      • Providers’ specialties must be appropriate for anticipated work-related injuries and illness of employees.
      • If a particular specialty is not on the list and the specialty care is reasonable and necessary for treatment of the work injury, injured employees are permitted to choose their own health care provider.
      • Employers must state if any of the providers are employed, owned, or controlled by the employer or its WC insurance provider.
      • Employers must provide a clearly written notice to all newly hired employees regarding their rights and responsibilities, which every employee reads, signs, and returns to the employer.
      • When an injury occurs, the injured employee should read and sign another acknowledgment of their rights and responsibilities.
      • Employers can’t direct injured employees to any specific provider on the list and must allow employees to switch from one provider to another provider on the list.
      • In an emergency situation, the injured employee is not required to seek medical treatment from a provider on the list. But once the emergency is over, they must use a provider on the list.
      • Injured employees are permitted to change physicians after 90 days, but they must give notice of the change to the employer and the insurance carrier within five days of the first treatment.

Additional Tips to Save on Workers’ Compensation Costs

WC Insurance covers the cost of medical treatment and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job and helps protect businesses against lawsuits filed by injured workers. In Pennsylvania, Workers’ Compensation Insurance is mandatory for almost every employer, whether an employee is full-time or part-time or even family.

However, there are steps - besides creating a designated health care provider list – businesses can take to lower their WC costs. Here are just a few.

    1. Institute a Documented Safety Program – Several studies have found that every dollar invested in preventing workplace injuries can yield a $2 to $6 return on investment.

    2. Have a Return-to-Work (RTW) Program – Not only can RTW Programs lower costs related to employee injuries, but they can also help keep injured employees engaged, lower the risk of litigation claims, reduce employee turnover, and increase productivity.

    3. Work with an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Insurance AgentThe agents at American Insuring Group have many years of experience in Workers Comp Insurance and can help guide you through the process. Plus, as independent agents, we check with several insurance companies to make sure you pay the lowest rate for all of your insurance needs.

→ Start saving on WC and other insurance costs by giving American Insuring Group a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, PA Workers Compensation Insurance, workers comp costs, Return-To-Work Programs

3 Tips to Minimize the Risk of a Big Trucking Insurance Claim

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 02, 2021

3 Tips to Minimize the Risk of a Big Trucking Insurance ClaimAsk any good insurance agent how to lower Truck Insurance costs, and they’ll tell you to reduce the number and size of your insurance claims. But that isn’t always easy.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2019, 118,000 large trucks were involved in accidents that caused injuries. And often, due to their size and weight, accidents involving trucks tend to be more serious. For example, in 2019, 5,005 trucks were involved in fatal accidents.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “A total of 4,119 people died in large truck crashes in 2019. The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 31 percent higher in 2019 than in 2009, when it was the lowest it has been since the collection of fatal crash data began in 1975. The number of truck occupants who died was 51 percent higher than in 2009.”

Accidents cost your company more than higher insurance rates: lost sales, lost clients, higher administrative costs, time spent managing the aftermath of a truck accident, higher employee turnover, loss of reputation, and the list goes on.

Here are three tips to minimize the risk of a big trucking insurance claim.

Hire Wisely

Spend some time upfront to save yourself time and money down the road, but also be sure you understand the legal requirements for interviewing, pre-employment testing, etc.

    1. Review an applicant’s motor vehicle record
    2. Conduct a thorough interview
    3. Include a practical skills interview
    4. Run the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability profile
    5. Conduct pre-employment drug testing
    6. Establish hiring guidelines:
            • Ensure that applicants have a valid driver’s license for the vehicle type and load they will be driving
            • Set a time limit on the last chargeable accident, DUI or DWI convictions, serious moving violations, etc.
            • Set minimum years of driving experience

Develop a Driver Safety Program

All new employees should receive safety training, and ongoing safety training should be required for all drivers. NETTTS offers these tips to create a company driver safety program:

    1.  Review Your Company Fleet
            • How many drivers do you have?
            • Where do they travel?
            • What types of vehicles do they drive?
        2. Training

You should include different kinds of learning, such as printed materials, meetings, presentations, and online training that focuses on the following:

            • Safety policies
            • Driving policies
            • Hours of service
            • Vehicle inspections
            • Accident procedures
            • Security procedures
            • Personal safety policies
            • Driver responsibilities
            • Performance evaluations

3. Documentation

Everything related to safety should be well documented, from company safety programs to new hire safety training and ongoing safety training of every employee. In addition, employees should be required to sign paperwork stating they understand your company’s safety processes and what will happen if they fail to follow those processes.

Review Your Insurance Loss Run Report

Your current insurance provider can issue a loss run report, which shows the claims you’ve filed under your business insurance policies – your insurance claims history. You can request this type of report for most types of business insurance.

These reports list the date of each loss and claim, a brief description of each claim, the amount paid to the insured, and whether or not the claim is closed. You can think of it as a credit report or report card for insurance companies. They use the information in the report to determine how risky your business is to insure, which can affect the premium you pay for insurance or even if an insurance company will issue a policy or renew a policy for your business.

You can look at common injuries and claimants and use the information to improve safety. You can also look at other things – such as lost time, open claims, litigation, etc. – to improve other areas of your business and to save on insurance and additional operating costs.

How to Save on Insurance Premiums

An insurance agent specializing in trucking insurance can help ensure you purchase the right coverage. In addition, an independent agent will compare the cost of that coverage with several companies to ensure you pay the lowest amount for that coverage. The independent agents at American Insuring Group have years of experience in Trucking Insurance, so give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips, Safety Programs

How to Get the Most Out of Your Contractors Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Sep 29, 2021

Get the Most Out of Your Contractors InsuranceCertain types of Contractors Insurance are required by law, and some may be required by your clients. Other types of insurance are optional but may be needed to protect your business. Regardless, you’ll want to get the most out of your insurance policies – by ensuring you have the right coverage, that there are no gaps, and that you’re paying the lowest price for that coverage.

Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your Contractors' Insurance.

Understand What Your Policies Don’t Cover

There aren’t many things more frustrating than paying for insurance coverage for years only to discover your policy doesn’t cover an incident or doesn’t cover the full amount when you go to file a claim. You need to understand what your policies do and don’t cover to determine any potential gaps in your policy.

To spot any gaps in your coverage, you need to Identify any risk your business may face, decide if you want that risk covered by insurance, and determine which, if any, policies cover that risk.

Here are four examples of common gaps in Contractors Insurance.

    1. Did you know that typically General Liability Insurance policies exclude coverage for faulty workmanship? Faulty Workmanship coverage helps protect yourself against claims of faulty workmanship filed by your customers.
    2. What would happen if your tools were stolen from a job site? Would your Commercial Property Insurance cover the cost to replace your tools? Probably not, but Builder’s Risk Insurance will.
    3. What if a piece of expensive equipment was stolen in transit to a worksite? Again, your Commercial Property Insurance would probably not cover replacement; however, Inland Marine Insurance would.
    4. If you have to temporarily cease operations due to a catastrophe, such as a fire or theft, do you have enough cash on hand to get you through a period with no income? If not, Business Interruption Insurance can help.
    5. What would happen if your partner – an essential part of your operation – were to become disabled? Would you be able to continue your business? If not, Key Person Insurance is an option.
    6. Did you know that if someone hacked into your computer system and took customer information, you could be held liable for that data breach? Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that your General Liability Insurance won’t cover that; however, Cyber Liability Insurance can help.

On the other hand, you may be paying for coverage or endorsements for risks that your business is not likely to incur. Or you may be duplicating coverage with more than one policy. Identifying these issues may help reduce your insurance premiums.

Understand Your Policy’s Limits

Make sure you understand your policies’ limits. A limit is the maximum amount of money your insurance company will pay for a covered claim. For example, let’s say you’re in a car accident on the way to a job site, you’re sued, and the settlement is $2 million, but your limit is $1 million. You will be responsible for covering the remainder of the payment. With an Umbrella Policy (Aka Excess Liability Insurance), you can increase the limits on your existing policies.

Understand Your Deductibles

The deductible is the amount you would pay before insurance kicks in when a claim is made. Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premiums. This is a great way to lower your premiums IF you have enough cash on hand to cover the deductible. In addition, knowing how much your deductibles are is a great way to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Let People Know You Have Coverage

Your insurance coverage can become a business asset. Proper insurance shows clients and potential clients that you are a professional who is serious about your business and can pay if something – damage or injury – were to occur during a project.

Regularly Review Your Insurance

Things change, and so do your insurance needs. Maybe you fired an employee or hired a new one. Perhaps you purchased a new piece of equipment or sold one. By regularly reviewing your policies (at least annually), you can ensure you have everything covered without paying for insurance that you don’t need.

Compare Costs

Different insurance companies offer different coverage and different pricing. The independent agents at American Insuring Group will compare the cost of your coverage with several insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest amount for your insurance coverage.

Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

4 Tips to Lower the Risk of Workers' Comp Litigation

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 25, 2021

4 Tips to Lower the Risk of Workers Comp LitigationIn Pennsylvania, almost all employers are required to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance (WC) for their employees. WC covers medical costs and lost wages for an employee that is injured on the job. WC also protects employers from negligence lawsuits. 

However, that doesn't make employers impervious to WC litigation. Under Pennsylvania law, if a workers' comp claim is denied, the injured employee has up to three years to file an appeal. And statistics show that litigated workers' compensation claims cost businesses more money, making minimizing the risk of litigation a smart move. 

Here are four tips to Lower the Risk of Workers' Compensation Litigation. 

Minimize the Risk of Injury

The best way to minimize the risk of WC litigation is to reduce the risk of injury with a workplace safety program.

 According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), every workplace safety program should include the following elements:

  • Commitment from management
  • Employee Involvement
  • A workplace analysis
  • Hazard prevention and control
  • Employee training
  • Communication

Creating a safer work environment does more than lower the risk of litigation. It also helps improve your bottom line. Discover the impact of workplace injuries on your profitability with OSHA's "$afety Pays" program. 

Understand Why Injured Employees Seek Litigation

A Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study in 2014 took a look at why employees will hire an attorney. Here are the three primary reasons:

  • Fear of getting fired just because they were injured on the job
  • A belief that their supervisors don't believe it's a legitimate injury
  • Concerns that the claim will be denied 

Once you know what can trigger an injured employee to seek litigation, you can take steps to prevent those triggers from happening. 

Communicate With Injured Employees

One of those steps is to communicate with injured employees. In that study, WCRI found that 33% of all the injured workers they surveyed were afraid that they were going to be fired. Regular communication with an injured employee can help eliminate that and many other uncertainties (which is often why people seek litigation). 

As soon as possible, someone from your company should reach out to the injured employee to ask how they're doing. But, first, you need to determine the best person to keep in touch with the injured employee. That person could be the employee's immediate supervisor, someone from human resources, etc. 

Then, you should have weekly face-to-face meetings with injured employees to show them that you value them, get updates on their medical condition, and discuss a potential transitional duty job. During these regular meetings, you can also gauge the attitude of the injured employee more quickly. 

During these conversations, you should listen to and address their concerns, assure them that their job is safe, and encourage them to focus on recovery. 

Have a Return to Work program

A return to work (RTW) program helps bring injured employees back to work more quickly. That could mean modified duties for the employee until they can medically return to their original job. In addition, an RTW helps an employee feel more productive and more connected to their workplace, which means they will be less likely to seek litigation.

The PA Department of Labor & Industry states, "Return-to-Work programs benefit all partners in the compensation system."

  • Injured workers maintain employment security, seniority, and benefits and receive personalized and effective treatment;
  • Employers retain experienced employees while reducing accident and workplace costs;
  • Health care providers are supported in their decisions and treatment strategies;
  • Unions maintain the employment rights of their members; and
  • The workers' compensation system can manage rising health care costs and provide high levels of benefits to injured workers and their dependents. 

And, of course, RTW programs help minimize the potential for an injured employee to seek litigation.

Save on Workers' Compensation Insurance

The experienced agents at American Insuring Group specialize in WC insurance and ensure you have the right coverage at the best price. Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online. 

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

5 Top Tips to Save on Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 18, 2021

5 Top Tips to Save on Truck InsuranceAs an independent truck owner/operator or small fleet owner, Truck Insurance can be a significant part of your operating budget. While the right insurance is crucial to the well-being of you, your employees, and your business, there are steps you can take to lower those costs without compromising coverage. 

Hire Wisely

Better drivers typically mean fewer accidents, and of course, fewer accidents mean lower insurance costs. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “In 2018, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 32 percent of the large truck drivers in fatal crashes.” 

Yes, we understand that good drivers can be hard to come by, but taking the time upfront to find suitable drivers and then taking steps to keep them will deliver significant savings down the road. 

Doing a thorough background check and verifying employment history and references of all potential hires is the first step. Look for drivers with clean driving records. It’s one of the things insurance companies are looking for to lower your insurance premiums. A general rule of thumb is to only hire drivers with no more than two minor violations in the past three years. 

Generally, the more experience a driver has, the better they can handle bad weather, road rage, and other hazards truck drivers face every day. Therefore, it’s no surprise that experience is one of the factors insurance companies consider when determining your insurance premiums. To take advantage of this, only hire drivers with a minimum of two years of CDL experience. 

Statistically, there are more accidents involving both very young and very old drivers. The FMCSA reports, “Of the 4,786 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2018, 328 (7 percent) were 25 years of age or younger, and 294 (6 percent) were 66 years of age or older.” Therefore, you may want to consider hiring drivers between the ages of 26 and 62. 

3 Additional Tips:

  1. Consider using FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) to screen new hires.
  2. Consider instituting an employee retention program
  3. Improve drivers’ comfort 

Always ensure that you follow all state and federal hiring laws.

Consider Your Routes

Routes you regularly drive can affect the probability of an accident and increase your insurance costs. For example, driving in high-traffic areas or areas with a higher frequency of bad weather can result in more accidents. Therefore, if you can avoid those areas, you may be able to lower your insurance rates. 

Consider Your Trucks

Purchase the right vehicle for the right job; don’t buy a larger or more expensive truck than what you need because it could increase your insurance costs. Also, keep up with truck maintenance and install safety features in your trucks.

Consider Policy Structure

Often, combining multiple insurance policies with one company can lower your overall costs. Choosing a higher deductible will also reduce your annual premiums, but remember… you need to have the deductible amount readily available when you make a claim. 

Make Safety a Priority

Two key factors in determining your insurance rates are your DOT Safety record and your insurance claims history – how many claims you’ve filed, the size of the claims, etc. The better your record and the fewer your claims, the lower your rates. 

While you may not be able to do anything about your current claims history, you can take steps to lower the number of claims in the future, which will result in significant savings down the road. Develop a culture of safety with safety programs and ongoing safety training for your drivers. 

The Simplest Tip to Lower Your Truck Insurance Rates

Work with one of the agents at American Insuring Group, who specialize in truck insurance. They understand your challenges and needs and can help ensure you get the right coverage. Also, as independent agents, they will compare the cost of that coverage with multiple insurance companies to ensure you get the lowest rate.

Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to start saving on your Truck Insurance costs.

Tags: truck insurance, workers comp insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips

10 Hand and Power Tool Safety Tips

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 11, 2021

10 Hand and Power Tool Safety TipsCan you imagine trying to complete any construction project without hand or power tools? No, neither can we. But we also can’t ignore the fact that both hand and power tools present many hazards that can cause injuries, and injuries mean higher Contractors Insurance costs. 

When you work with tools every day, it’s easy to become complacent. As you repeatedly use certain tools, you almost go into auto mode, which can be extremely dangerous. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, power tool injuries result in approximately 400,000 emergency room visits each year in the U.S. Staying alert is crucial to minimizing the risk of injury. 

10 Hand and Power Tool Safety Tips 

  1. Use the Right Tool – You know the correct tools to use for each task (at least you should), but sometimes a different tool is just handier. For example, using the screwdriver in your tool belt when you know the right tool for the job is the chisel you left in your truck. Or using the wrong sized bits, blades, etc., just because you don’t have the right size on hand. Using the wrong tool can cause damage or injury.
  2. Follow Manufacturers’ Instructions for Use – Don’t think you know how to use a tool better than the manufacturer. Manufacturers’ instructions are written to help you avoid damage to your tools and injury to you and your coworkers.
  3. Regularly Inspect Tools – Always inspect hand and power tools before and after use and properly repair or replace anything that is damaged before using again. Here’s what to check:
    • The handle and body casings of the tool for cracks or other damage
    • Damaged switches or faulty trigger locks
    • Make sure auxiliary or double handles are securely installed
    • Inspect cords for defects, such as cracking, fraying, or other signs of wear
    • Inspect plugs for cracks or faulty prongs
  4. Don’t Modify Tools – Don’t remove any safety guards or disable any safety devices on tools. Don’t paint tools because this can hide cracks and chips.
  5. Handle Tools With Care – The more carefully you handle your tools, the longer they’ll last and the safer you and your coworkers will be. Don’t “toss” tools into boxes or at coworkers. Don’t use electrical cords to lift tools. When not in use, keep tools in a toolbox or your tool belt.
  6. Unplug – Power tools should be unplugged when not in use, moving to a new location, replacing blades or bits, or making repairs.
  7. Keep Workspace Clean – A cluttered space can lead to trips, falls, and injuries, especially when you’re handling power or sharp tools, so keep your workspace clear of clutter. Also, be careful with power cords and air lines. Don’t let them get tangled up, and watch for cords as you move about your workspace.
  8. Make Space – Leave yourself enough room to safely operate hand and power tools without coming into contact with your coworkers or other objects.
  9. Wear PPEPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE) – such as safety goggles, earplugs, gloves, face masks, and hardhats – help protect you from injuries. PPE should fit properly and be well maintained.
  10. Get Training – Understanding how to correctly use (and not use) tools is the best way to avoid injuries. Every employee using hand or power tools should be trained on the proper use of those tools. They should also be trained on general safety procedures and the appropriate use of PPE.

How to Save on Contractors Insurance

Creating a safer worksite to eliminate injuries is the first step to saving money on Contractors Insurance. The next step is to work with one of American Insuring Group’s agents specializing in Contractors Insurance. Not only do they understand your unique insurance needs, but they will also check with multiple insurance companies to ensure you get the best rate on your insurance coverage. So give them a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with them online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Contractor Safety Management

6 Questions to Ask to Acquire the Right Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 04, 2021

Questions to ask to get the right restaurant insuranceThe right Restaurant Insurance coverage is an investment in your business or a safety net when (not if, but when) things go wrong – accidents, vandalism, fires, etc. But the wrong Restaurant Insurance can be an unnecessary expense.

Here's what we mean…

Let's say you serve alcohol to someone at your restaurant. They get into a car accident on the way home, and your business gets sued for bodily injury or property damage caused by that person. The Liquor Liability Insurance you purchased helps cover legal costs, settlements or judgments, costs to repair damages, and medical bills. That's an investment.

Now, let's say you run a small diner. To determine your Workers' Compensation and General Liability Insurance premiums, your restaurant is classified as 0899 (Bar, Nightclub) instead of 0975 (Restaurant) as it should be. You're going to end up paying for potential risks that don't apply to your business. That is an unnecessary expense.

Here are some questions you can ask to ensure you get the "Right" Restaurant Insurance.

Is My Restaurant Correctly Classified?

As stated above, if your diner is incorrectly classified as a bar, you could be paying more in insurance premiums than you need to. On the other hand, if your bar is misclassified as a restaurant, you could find a gap in your coverage.

Do I Need Workers' Compensation?

The PA Department of Labor & Industry states, "If you employ workers in Pennsylvania, you must have workers' compensation insurance -- it's the law." Failing to carry appropriate workers' compensation insurance carries a potential $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail. Additionally, if the court determines the failure to comply is intentional, you could face a $15,000 fine and up to seven years in prison.

Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance?

If your restaurant has a vehicle that you or an employee uses for business, you need Commercial Auto Insurance. Most personal auto insurance policies will exclude business use, so if you're in an accident while conducting business for your restaurant and only have personal auto insurance, your claim will probably be denied. If an employee uses their own car for restaurant business, such as delivering food or going to the bank, you need Hired or Non-Owned Auto coverage.

Do I Need Cyber Liability Insurance?

If you gather any type of personal information – which most restaurants do – you should have Data Breach and Cyber Liability Insurance. Don't think that just because you are a small business that you aren't susceptible to data breaches. Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report found that "Almost a third or 28% of data breaches in 2020 involved small businesses." One data breach can cost your business thousands of dollars.

Are There Any Gaps in My Insurance?

Think about your assets – property, employees, equipment, vehicles, etc. – and your potential risks – fire, injury, etc. to determine if there are any gaps in your insurance. An insurance agent specializing in Restaurant Insurance understands the unique challenges and risks inherent in the restaurant industry and knows the right questions to ask to ensure that you don't have any coverage gaps.

How Can I Lower My Restaurant Insurance?

The right Restaurant Insurance coverage helps protect you, your restaurant, employees, and customers, but that doesn't mean you should pay more than you need to for that coverage. Here are a few tips to lower your Restaurant Insurance costs:

    • Focus on Safety
    • Improve Security
    • Hire Wisely
    • Pay Upfront
    • Increase Your Deductible
    • Carry the Right Coverage
    • Bundle
    • Review Your Policies Annually
    • Work With an Independent Agent

We Specialize in Restaurant Insurance!

The agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance. As independent agents, we will compare the cost of your coverage with several companies to get you the lowest price possible. So, give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, workers comp, commercial vehicle insuarance, Cyber Liability Insurance

Safe Cleaning Tips to Protect Your Restaurant Customers

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 28, 2021

Safe Cleaning Tips to Protect Your Restaurant Customers and help you save on restaurant insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, PA and points in between.The COVID-19 pandemic reminded restaurant owners and managers of the importance of proper sanitation - whether they’re running a food truck or a fine dining restaurant. So perhaps it’s a good idea to continue some of those additional precautions even as the mandates are lifted.

The fact is - COVID or no COVID – every restaurant should be kept clean for the safety of the business and its customers and employees. Dirty restaurants can lead to food-borne illnesses, making customers sick, which can lead to lawsuits, damaged reputations, and higher Restaurant Insurance costs.

Here is information to help ensure that your restaurant is adequately cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected to help prevent cross-contamination of food and the spread of germs and viruses.

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting

Cleaning is removing visible debris and deposits – such as dirt and spills - on the surface using a vacuum, duster, degreaser, soap, or detergent. Cleaning does not eliminate germs.

After a surface is cleaned, sanitizing helps eliminate many microorganisms and reduce the growth of bacteria. Any surface that comes in contact with food – such as cutting boards, countertops, serving utensils, pots, pans, etc. - should be regularly sanitized. They should be sanitized whenever you’re switching to a different type of food or ingredient, when you’re done with one food prep task, or every four hours. Sanitizing kills 99.9% of bacteria.

Surfaces that are frequently touched – such as light switches, door handles, phones, cash registers, bathrooms, etc.– should be regularly disinfected using bleach or other disinfectant. You should disinfect at least once a day, but more frequently during cold and flu season or a virus outbreak. A disinfectant kills 99.999% of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

How to Sanitize Food Prep Surfaces

WebstaurantStore suggests the following process:

  • Wipe the surface of any visible debris.
  • Rinse the surface with soap and clean water.
  • Sanitize the surface with a food-safe sanitizer, following the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Allow the surface to air dry for at least 30 seconds.

How to Disinfect Frequently Touched Surfaces

WebstaurantStore suggests the following process:

  • Wipe the surface of any visible debris.
  • Rinse the surface with soap and clean water.
  • Follow the directions on the disinfecting product you’re using, including how long to keep it on the surface and whether or not to rinse it off.

Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

A restaurant cleaning checklist can help ensure that all employees know what is expected and that cleaning tasks aren’t overlooked. The checklist should include both the kitchen and dining areas and have daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.

Prevent food poisoning

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these four steps to avoid cross-contamination and food poisoning:

  • Clean (your hands, surfaces, fruits and vegetables, etc.)
  • Separate (cutting boards, food, etc.)
  • Cook to the right temperature
  • Chill – refrigerate promptly

CDC COVID-19 Guidelines Worth Continuing:

  • Urge employees to stay home if they don’t feel well.
  • Require employees to wash their hands frequently - particularly before, during, and after preparing food or after touching garbage. Employees should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Have enough supplies – soap, towels, no-touch trash cans, etc. – to support healthy hygiene.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, phones, cash registers, bathrooms, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Use touchless payment options.
  • Post signs and posters to promote healthy hygiene habits among the staff.

Save Even More on Restaurant Insurance!

The independent agents at American Insuring Group will compare competing restaurant insurance carriers to get you the right insurance coverage at the lowest price. So, give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Pittsburgh PA, Safety Programs, Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs