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4 Tips to Avoid Skidding and Lower Truck Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Mar 25, 2023

Avoid Skidding and Lower Truck Insurance Costs in Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Reading, Lancaster, York and throughout Pennsylvania

The more accidents you have, the higher your operating and Truck Insurance costs; therefore, it makes sense to avoid accidents whenever possible. Large trucks are bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles and can cause more severe injuries and damage in an accident. In 2020, there were approximately 415,000 accidents involving large trucks, 4,444 were fatal crashes, and 101,000 were injury crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 

Many accidents are the result of skidding - when tires lose their grip or traction on the road – and understanding the leading causes of skidding can help drivers minimize the risk of skidding. Skids are typically caused by one of the following:

  • Over-Braking – slamming on the brakes, which locks the wheels (the most common cause of skids)
  • Over-Steering – turning the steering wheel more sharply than the truck can turn
  • Driving Too Fast – Driving too fast based on the road conditions
  • Over-Accelerating – Applying too much pedal pressure too quickly

4 Tips to Avoid Skidding in Commercial Trucks

Brake Correctly

It’s no surprise that over-braking is the most common cause of skids. If the car in front of you suddenly stops or something darts in front of you, the first instinct for most people is to slam on the brake pedal. Unfortunately, this can cause one or more of the duals or the steering axle brakes to lock up. If this happens, you can end up skidding or sliding sideways. 

Instead of slamming on the brake, gently ease pressure on the pedal. Once you’ve reduced your speed, feather the brake by applying light pressure and adjusting the pressure level as needed. 

Feathering allows air to get in between the brakes and the drum and helps cool the system. It does what anti-locking (ABS) is supposed to do. Unfortunately, exposure to the weather can cause erosion to the ABS, which often means it is not working as it should. 

Feathering is particularly crucial on slippery roads and steep hills. Here’s a video that shows how to feather the brake pedal. 

Use the Jake Brake

“As a big rig is working, the air is forced into the engine cylinders as it enters the intake valve. This causes the air to compress, which converts it into energy that can be distributed. Usually, the pistons take that energy and guide it to the rest of the vehicle to produce power,” Matheson explains. “However, when a Jake Brake is activated, that air is pushed out the exhaust valves instead of being used to power the crankshaft and down-stroke. This results in a drag on the crankshaft, slowing the vehicle without any extra friction on the service brakes.” 

Matheson also states, “Because of how a Jake Brake works, drivers should avoid using them when on slippery road surfaces”; however, many experienced drivers find keeping the Jake Brake switch on the lowest position when driving on slippery road surfaces helpful. 

Keep in mind that some areas have prohibited their use due to the noise Jake Brakes makes. 

Allow Enough Stopping Distance

One way to avoid the need for quick stopping is to allow enough stopping distance. The condition of the road, how fast you’re going, and the weight and height of your haul can all affect how much stopping distance is required. However, trucks will always need more stopping distance than passenger cars. 

For Example, the Utah Department of Transportation (UTDOT) states, “A passenger vehicle weighing 4,000 pounds, traveling under ideal conditions at a speed of 65 miles per hour would take 316 feet to stop (nearly the length of a football field). In comparison, a fully loaded tractor-trailer weighing 80,000 pounds traveling under ideal conditions at a speed of 65 miles per hour will take 525 feet to stop (almost the length of two football fields).” 

Mind Your Speed

We understand many truck drivers are under pressure to meet tight deadlines, but safety should always be a priority. The faster you are traveling, the longer it will take to stop your truck, so mind your speed – especially on wet or slippery roads or steep hills or if you are an inexperienced driver. 

Driving at the posted speed limit may not always be safe. Depending on the conditions, going below the speed limit may be wise. ‘In many areas, law enforcement can cite you for speeding if your speed was inappropriate for the road conditions, even if it was lower than the posted speed limit,” DSW states. “It’s better to be safe than sorry and to use your best judgment to determine a safe speed.” 

How to Pay Less for Truck Insurance

Avoiding skids is one way to lower Truck Insurance costs. Another way is to call American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online. Our independent agents will compare the cost of your insurance among competing insurance companies so you will pay less for all of your commercial insurance needs.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips

10 Tips to Prevent Repetitive Stress Injuries and Lower WC Costs

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Mar 22, 2023


Musculoskeletal disorders - one of the fastest growing threats to workplace safety and health – are costing $20 billion a year in Workers' Compensation Insurance costs and an additional $100 billion in lost productivity, employee turnover, and other indirect expenses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2019, musculoskeletal disorders accounted for nearly one-third of all worker injury and illness cases, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Any employee can experience this type of injury, but they are becoming more prevalent with the aging American workforce. A repetitive stress injury (Aka, repetitive strain injury, repetitive motion injury, repetitive use injury, and RSI) is a musculoskeletal disorder. 

The industries most at risk for RSI include the following:

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Health Care
  • Office
  • Construction
  • Food Preparation
  • Transportation

What is a Repetitive Stress injury?

Repetitive stress injuries are defined as painful musculoskeletal disorders "caused by cumulative damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, or joints (as of the hand or shoulder) from highly repetitive movements." RSIs commonly affect wrists, elbows, arms, shoulders, fingers, and knees. Any motion or movement can cause an RSI if repeated too often – even typing on a computer. 

  • RSIs can lead to several conditions:
  • Tendinitis – Inflammation of the tendons
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Excessive pressure on the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of a hand
  • Muscle strains and low back injuries
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Epicondylitis (Aka Tennis Elbow)
  • Trigger Finger – affects tendons that flex the fingers and thumb
  • Tenosynovitis – Inflammation to the tendon and the sheath around a tendon

Common causes of RSIs include poor posture, working in the cold, working with a vibrating tool, performing a high-intensity activity for a long time without resting, or holding an awkward position. 

Repetitive stress injuries occur over time. Symptoms include pain, tingling, throbbing, numbness, stiffness, weakness, swelling, and sensitivity to cold or heat. Employees who experience any of these symptoms should not ignore them, which can lead to more severe RSI injuries. 

Treatment of RSIs depends on the severity of the symptoms and what is causing them. Typically, the best treatment is to reduce or modify the activity that caused the injury. 

10 Tips to Prevent Repetitive Stress Injuries

Federal laws require that employers accommodate employees to help prevent repetitive stress injuries. Plus, minimizing the risk of a repetitive stress injury can help lower employee absenteeism, improve productivity, and lower WC costs, making it a win-win situation.

  1. Provide ergonomic training that includes the principles and applications of ergonomics; proper use of equipment, tools, and machine controls; good work practices, including proper lifting techniques; recognition of RSI symptoms; the importance of reporting RSIs before they become more serious; etc.

  2. Provide appropriate ergonomic tools, such as chairs that support the back, headsets for long phone calls, and adjustable desks and computer monitors.

  3. Establish a culture of safety

  4. Limit repetitive motions and exposure to vibration

  5. Maintain good posture

  6. Avoid prolonged sitting at a desk or computer

  7. Adjust your workstation

  8. Take regular breaks from repetitive tasks

  9. Stretch throughout the day

  10. Use tools correctly

Lower Your Workers' Compensation Insurance Costs the Easy Way!

Most states – including Pennsylvania – require that all employers carry Workers' Compensation Insurance for all employees; however, there are many ways to lower the cost of WC insurance. Preventing repetitive stress injuries is just one way. Working with the independent agents at American Insuring Group – who offer cost-effective worker's compensation insurance from various competing insurance companies – is another way, and it's easy!

Call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

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

Tips to Protect the Public From Construction Site Hazards

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Feb 25, 2023

Avoid construction site hazards to save on contractor and construction insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Erie, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere in PA

To help you lower Contractors Insurance costs, we share many blogs and tips about keeping workers safe because fewer accidents translate to lower costs. We all know that construction sites – with large pieces of machinery, power tools, moving vehicles, and heavy objects - can be hazardous places. After all, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that the construction industry experienced the most workplace deaths in 2020.

Typically, construction site accidents do involve workers; however, your workers don’t work in a bubble. Worksite hazards can also affect the public; therefore, construction safety must go beyond protecting workers.

You also need to consider the safety of the public to ensure your work activities don’t put them in harm’s way. The public – pedestrians and drivers - can be particularly susceptible to worksite injuries because, unlike your employees, they probably have not received safety training. Therefore, they may not recognize hazards common to construction sites.

Assess the Site

Every project occurs in a different environment, which makes potential hazards to the public unique to each worksite. Therefore, the first step to protecting the public is to assess potential risks at each worksite and determine how your work could impact the public. This assessment should occur before work begins and periodically throughout the project, as potential hazards can change.

This assessment should help you determine worksite boundaries. It should be crystal clear where public space ends and construction zones begin. Unfortunately, many accidents occur when adults or children - unaware of the dangers construction sites may pose - inadvertently wander into construction zones.

Setting Boundaries

The NSC states “the entire project perimeter and specific hazards within the project site” should be fenced and gated, and “multiple warning signs on the fence instructing the public that this is a construction site” should be installed.

To determine the proper fencing for a particular project, you should consider the following:

  • How busy the area is. How many cars and pedestrians will pass by your worksite?
  • The type of construction.
  • Location of site and proximity to other buildings
  • Existing boundaries

5 Most Common Construction Site Hazards to the Public

Once the boundaries are clearly marked, the next step is to look at what type of hazards your worksite may pose to the public and take measures to keep the public safe. Here are the five most common construction site hazards to look for and tips to avoid them:

  1. Falling Objects – Construct sidewalk sheds around the walkways where appropriate and install netting or use toe boards on scaffolds so falling objects are caught before hitting anyone. 

  2. Falling into holes, trenches, and other openings - These openings should be covered and barricaded with warning signs posted.

  3. Being struck by moving vehicles - During construction, nearby traffic patterns may change. If the new route is not clearly marked, drivers or pedestrians can end up in the path of construction vehicles. Therefore, erecting barricades and using signage is imperative. If the area receives heavy traffic – especially during rush hour – a flag person should help direct vehicles. Pedestrians are even more vulnerable to moving vehicles; therefore, if sidewalks are rerouted, they must have a clearly identified alternate route that is ADA-accessible. Adequate lighting can also help eliminate accidents.

  4. Scaffolding – To avoid the public being hit by scaffolding, ensure that there is enough room when erecting scaffolding and that it is properly constructed and maintained.

  5. Materials – Materials that are stacked or stored outside the worksite perimeter can cause tripping hazards. Hazardous or flammable materials can also cause injuries. Therefore, keeping materials within the worksite perimeter and hazardous materials stored in approved storage lockers is best.

Don’t Overpay For Contractor Insurance!

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, accidents occur, which is why Contractor Insurance is vital to protect your business. At American Insuring Group, we perform an in-depth review of your business. Then, we compare the costs and types of liability insurance among several competing carriers, providing you with multiple quotes and our recommendation on the best choice for your business.

So start saving today on your Contractor Insurance costs by calling us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

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

Is Your Restaurant Protected If You Are Disabled or Die?

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Feb 18, 2023

Insurance for restaurant owners in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, York, and throughout PennsylvaniaRestaurant Insurance is designed to help protect you as an owner, your business, and your employees in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, such as an employee injury, lawsuit, kitchen fire, etc. But have you thought about how you would protect your business, employees, and family if something were to happen to you and you were no longer able to run the business?

Most small businesses – including restaurants - rely on their owner (or another key person) to keep the business running. If that person is disabled or dies, there could be severe consequences to the business, employees, and the owner's family. Here is how the right insurance can help prevent that from happening.

Personal Life Insurance

Personal life Insurance for business owners is particularly important since you may not have employee benefits such as group life insurance, a retirement account, etc. Personal life insurance for business owners helps your family survive financially if something happens to you. It covers costs such as income replacement, credit card debt, college tuition for your children, mortgage, etc.

When determining how much coverage you need, don't forget to consider any loans you took out to start or grow your business, especially if you used personal property – such as your home – as collateral. Those loan payments don't go away if you die; they become your family's responsibility.

The types of personal life insurance available are term life insurance, universal life insurance, or whole life insurance.

Term Life Insurance is the most popular type of policy. Rates are usually guaranteed for a certain period of years (i.e., for a term). People typically purchase term insurance as a way of obtaining cheap life insurance coverage for their families in case they pass away unexpectedly.

Whole Life Insurance provides coverage for your entire life. This form of life insurance generally has a guaranteed premium for life that does not increase as you age. Whole life insurance is more expensive than term life insurance, but unlike term life insurance, it builds cash value through dividends and interest.

Universal Life Insurance is a hybrid of term life insurance and whole life insurance. Typically, premiums stay level, and dividends or interest are earned on the cash value in the policy. This type of life insurance policy is usually suited for someone who wants a level premium for life but is willing to give up certain guarantees to achieve a lower insurance cost.

Buy-Sell Agreement and Life Insurance for Co-Owners

A buy-sell agreement (aka buyout agreement) is defined as "a legally binding agreement between co-owners of a business that governs the situation if a co-owner dies or is otherwise forced to leave the business or chooses to leave the business." It's often thought of as a pre-nuptial agreement between business partners or shareholders. Most business-succession specialists and financial planners recommend adding life insurance (earmarked as money to pay for a buyout) to simplify the process.

Key Person Insurance

Entrepreneur defines Key Person Insurance as "Life insurance on a key employee, partner or proprietor on whom the continued successful operation of a business depends. The business is the beneficiary under the policy." Key people are individuals who are crucial to your business – the people whose "absence would sink the company."

This type of life insurance can help cover expenses such as business loans, the cost of replacing you (or the key person), severance for employees if the business is forced to close, and buying back the key person's shares in the company.

How to Find Affordable Insurance

The right insurance will protect all of your stakeholders - your business, employees, customers, partners, etc. – and your family if the unthinkable happens. Still, you don't want to pay more than necessary for that protection. Fortunately, American Insuring Group provides quality restaurant insurance at affordable prices. Our independent agents shop the market to find you the best insurance to meet your needs at a great price.

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

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Buy-Sell Agreement Insurance, Key Person Insurance, Life Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs

Seat Belts Save Lives and Help Lower Commercial Truck Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Feb 15, 2023

How seat belts can help you save on truck insurance in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Reading, Allentown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie and throughout PennsylvaniaA seat belt safety program is a must if you want to keep your drivers safe and your Commercial Truck Insurance costs in check. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that "transportation incidents were the number one cause of on-the-job deaths with 2,460 fatalities out of a total of 5,703 fatal occupational injuries recorded." And "The average cost to a company for each property damage only truck crash is $11,020 (in 2003 dollars); per injury truck crash it is $174,367; and per fatal truck crash, it is $3,469,962. The average cost for all truck crashes per truck crash is $62,613."

Why are Seatbelt Safety Programs Vital to Business success?

First of all, it is the law, and failure to wear a seatbelt can result in state or federal penalties to drivers and employers. Plus, if a driver refuses to wear their seatbelt and receives traffic tickets for it, it could substantially increase your insurance costs or cause your insurance company to cancel your policy.

The FMCSA reports that safety belts, especially lap/shoulder belts, are effective in reducing injuries and fatalities and the cost of operating large trucks:

  • More than 1 in 3 truck drivers who died in crashes in 2012 were not wearing seat belts (CDC).
  • Buckling up could have prevented up to 40% of these deaths (CDC)
  • Of the 168 drivers who died as a result of being ejected from their trucks in 2007, almost 75 percent of them were not wearing safety belts (FMCSA)
  • 51% of truck-occupant-fatalities in large trucks involve rollovers. In a rollover, a truck driver is 80% less likely to die when wearing a safety belt (FMCSA)

And yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013, one in six drivers of large trucks didn't wear seat belts.

Why Are Seat Belts Effective?

Here are some of the reasons seat bests are effective, according to the FMCSA:

  • Seat belts spread the stress and impact forces of a crash along the stronger and broader areas of the body, such as the hips and shoulders, thereby limiting injuries.
  • Seat belts hold you in place while the vehicle absorbs the crash's impact and decelerates.
  • In a crash, a seat belt keeps the driver in place behind the steering wheel and in control of the vehicle, thereby avoiding or reducing the consequences of an accident.
  • Seat belts can keep you from being knocked unconscious, improving your chances of escape. In less than 5% of fatal large truck crashes, fire or submersion occurs.

Tips for Creating a Seat Belt Safety Program

The FMCSA suggests the following tips to create a seat belt program:

  1. Lead by example.
  2. Assign a program coordinator from each department to lead the effort.
  3. Allow employees to take an active role in safety decisions.
  4. Develop a seat belt training program.
  5. Evaluate your seat belt program.
  6. Promote your successes.

Training should include information about safety requirements (federal, state, and company-wide), the high cost of truck accidents, how and why seat belts are effective, and how to ensure proper seat belt fit and maintenance.

Lower Your Truck Insurance Costs the Easy Way!

Another way to lower Truck Insurance costs is to call one of the Truck Insurance experts at American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

We provide quality Truck Insurance at affordable prices by comparing policies among competing insurance companies and finding the right one to meet your needs!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips

Lower Workers’ Comp Costs With a Wellness Program

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Feb 11, 2023

How Employee Wellness Programs can lower your Workers Compensation Insurance costs in Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown. Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Erie, and throughout PA

To lower Workers’ Compensation Insurance costs for your business, you may want to consider a wellness program. Wellness programs offer many benefits and aren’t just for big companies. Statistics show that 58% of small to medium-sized businesses (3-199 employees) provide wellness programs. The return on investment (ROI) for employee wellness programs is $6 for every $1 spent.

What is a Wellness Program?

SHRM states, “Wellness programs are provided to employees as a preventive measure to help avoid illness while improving and maintaining the general health of the employees. This can be accomplished through education, communication, and a supportive work environment.”

Wellness programs may address physical health, mental health, substance abuse, or chronic pain. They may or may not include incentives - such as health insurance premium discounts, contributions to health savings accounts, cash or gift cards, etc. - to participate in the program. SHRM cautions, “Employers should make sure their wellness incentives are designed, so they do not inadvertently lead to unhealthy behaviors. For example, a per-pound weight loss incentive with no limits may encourage unhealthy weight loss practices. Or an incentive for attending a fitness center that expires after one year may result in employees ending their regimens.”

Wellness programs may include one or more of the following:

  • Nutrition education
  • Diabetes management programs
  • Weight-loss programs
  • Preventative health screening
  • Health risk assessments
  • smoking cessation programs
  • Stress management programs
  • Gym memberships
  • Worksite exercise programs and activities
  • Vaccination clinics
  • Health fairs
  • Wellness publications
  • 24-hour nurse hotline
  • CPR or first-aid training
  • Massage therapy services
  • Financial wellness
  • Recreational programs, such as company-sponsored sports teams

What are the Benefits of a Wellness Program?

Employees spend a substantial amount of time at work, and unfortunately, workplaces often lead to ill health. For example, desk jobs can lead to inactivity and weight gain, and work stress has been shown to cause many health issues. So, it’s no surprise that wellness programs provide many benefits for employers and employees alike:

  • Reduction in healthcare costs. In 2019, 72% of employers implementing a wellness program saw reduced healthcare costs.
  • Reduction in absenteeism (14-19%).
  • Increased productivity. 84% of employers reported higher productivity and performance from their employees due to wellness plans in 2019.
  • Reduced injuries.
  • Reduced Workers’ Compensation and disability-related costs.
  • Increased employee morale. More than 80% of employees who work for an employer engaged in their wellness enjoy their work. On the other hand, of those whose employers aren’t engaged in their wellness, only about 40% say they enjoy work.
  • Attract and retain employees. Research shows that 87% of employees consider if an employer offers any type of wellness program when choosing an employer. In addition, 85% of employees who work for an employer engaged in their wellness say they intend to stay at their jobs. On the other hand, of those whose employers aren’t engaged in their wellness, only 58% say they plan on staying with their current employer.

*Statistics from Zippia.

How is a Wellness Program Established and Designed?

SHRM suggests the following steps to establish and design a wellness program:

  1. Conduct assessments
  2. Obtain management support
  3. Establish a wellness committee
  4. Develop goals and objectives
  5. Establish a budget
  6. Design wellness program components
  7. Select wellness program incentives or rewards
  8. Communicate the wellness plan
  9. Evaluate the success of the program

Easy Workers’ Comp Insurance Savings

The independent agents at American Insuring Group will work hard to get you the best price on quality insurance to protect your employees and your business.

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

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, workers comp costs

Toolbox Talk: Safe Lifting to Reduce Contractor Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jan 28, 2023

Follow these safe lifting tips to save on Contractor Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton, Allentown, Lancaster, Reading, PA and beyondWorkplace accidents are a significant cause of higher Contractor Insurance costs, so it stands to reason that reducing the number of workplace accidents (and subsequent injuries) will help lower your Contractor Insurance costs. One way to reduce the number of injuries is with Toolbox Talks – informal group discussions that focus on a specific safety topic. 

Since back injuries are a significant concern in the construction industry, a toolbox talk that focuses on safe lifting can be helpful. "Back injuries account for almost 20% of all nonfatal injuries and illnesses with days away from work in construction," according to the Center for Construction Research and Training. "Work-related back injuries and illnesses are caused mainly by repeated lifting of materials, sudden movements, whole body vibration, lifting and twisting at the same time, or bending over for long periods of time." 

And these injuries are costly. The Center reports, "Among all reported injuries in the construction industry, low-back claims are the most frequent and make up the largest proportion of claims costs and days away from work. The prevalence of back injuries among construction workers is probably even higher than the BLS numbers indicate since many injuries are underreported in the construction industry." While you can't eliminate back injuries, you can substantially reduce them with a Toolbox Talk that focuses on safe lifting. 

Two Types of Controls to Prevent Lifting Injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified two types of controls for preventing lifting injuries – administrative and engineering. Engineering controls involve designing workstations to minimize lifting hazards. Examples of this type of control include positioning a work table to avoid long or awkward reaches, using a device to move heavy objects, and redesigning tools. 

Administrative controls include properly training workers, which is what a Toolbox Talk should focus on. 

Proper Lifting Technique

Grainger offers the following steps for safe lifting:

  1. Stand close to the load with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. One foot should be slightly in front of the other for balance.
  2. Squat down, bending at the knees (not your waist). Tuck your chin while keeping your back as vertical as possible.
  3. Get a firm grasp of the object before beginning the lift.
  4. Slowly begin straightening your legs, lifting slowly. Never twist your body during this step.
  5. Once the lift is complete, keep the object as close to the body as possible. If the load's center of gravity moves away from your body, there is a dramatic increase in stress to the back's lumbar region. 

If you need to set the object below waist level, use the same procedures in reverse order. 

Additional Lifting Tips

  • Take your time
  • Lift smoothly, avoiding jerky movements
  • Stretch before lifting heavy objects
  • Store heavy materials at waist height when possible
  • Have heavy materials delivered as close to the final destination as possible
  • Before lifting, determine the best place to grip the material
  • Ensure your intended path is free of clutter and slipping hazards
  • Use carts, forklifts, or dollies when appropriate
  • Ask for help from another worker 

NOTE: "Back belts are not recognized by OSHA as effective engineering controls to prevent back injury. While they may be accepted by individual workers because they feel as if they provide additional support, the effectiveness of back belts in the prevention of low back injuries has not been proven in the work environment." 

Save More on Contractor Insurance!

Another way to save on Contractor Insurance is to work with one of the experienced agents at American Insuring Group, who specializes in Contractor Insurance. We can ensure you have the best coverage for your specific needs. And as independent agents, we will compare the cost of that coverage with several insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premium for solid coverage.

So call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to start saving on Contractor Insurance costs today!

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

7 Common Restaurant Insurance Myths That Could Cost You

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jan 21, 2023

Avoid these restaurant insurance myths and save on insurance in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg, Reading and throughout PARestaurant Insurance can be complicated; however, the right insurance can protect you, your restaurant, and your employees. You don't want any gaps in coverage, but you also don't want to pay more than you need. Unfortunately, seven common restaurant insurance myths often cause one or both of these to happen. 

7 Common Restaurant Insurance Myths

MYTH 1: A general liability policy or umbrella policy will cover me.

FACT: General liability insurance helps protect your business "premises" from exposure (risk), such as trip and fall hazards. However, it does not protect your business if you serve too much alcohol and an injury occurs, an employee gets hurt, or your catering van is totaled. 

Commercial Umbrella Insurance offers additional coverage on liability claims on your existing insurance policies. If a claim exceeds your policy's limit, it provides a buffer or safety net. It does not provide primary liability coverage. It only goes into effect when a claim exceeds the policy's limits. 

MYTH 2: I'll be paying for coverage I don't need.

FACT: Restaurant Insurance should not be one-size-fits-all because every restaurant is unique. American Insuring Group specializes in Restaurant Insurance, so we know what questions to ask you to ensure that your risks are covered without having the insurance coverage you don't need. 

MYTH 3: I don't need Workers' Compensation Insurance.

FACT: Most states, including PA, require employers to carry WC for their employees. The PA Department of Labor & Industry states, "Workers' compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers under Pennsylvania law. Employers who do not have workers' compensation coverage may be subject to lawsuits by employees and to criminal prosecution by the commonwealth." This includes both full and part-time employees, even if they are family members. There are very few exceptions.

MYTH 4: You can skip commercial auto insurance.

FACT: This is true only if you or your employees NEVER use a vehicle for business. However, your personal auto insurance will probably not cover injuries or damage if a vehicle (owned by the business, you, or someone else) is being used for business purposes.

MYTH 5: Only big restaurant chains get sued.

FACT: According to the Zebra, 36% to 53% of small businesses are sued annually, and the average liability suit costs at least $54,000. Furthermore, SCORE reports, "The financial hits of litigation can be far more damaging to small businesses than to large ones, which often staff in-house legal counsel and devote a portion of their budget to legal defense."

MYTH 6: Small restaurants are safe from cyber-attacks.

FACT: Forbes reports that 43% of cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses. "If you're still in denial about the chances of your small business becoming a victim, 61% of all SMBs [small to medium-sized businesses] have reported at least one cyber-attack during the previous year," Forbes states. "Despite the staggering numbers, 91% of small businesses haven't purchased cyber liability insurance. This truly reflects how unaware and unprepared small business owners are to deal with security breaches." 

MYTH 7: Restaurant insurance is too expensive.

FACT: The right insurance policy protects your business, provides peace of mind, and can be extremely affordable. Without insurance, one significant accident or lawsuit could put your restaurant out of business, making insurance a smart investment. 

How to Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

Understanding Restaurant Insurance is the best way to ensure you have the right insurance without gaps or paying for coverage you don't need. As Restaurant Insurance specialists, the American Insuring Group can help. Plus, as independent agents, we compare the cost of your coverage among many insurance companies to help you get the right coverage at a great price!

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to start saving on Restaurant Insurance today.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance

Avoid Collisions With Deer to Lower Truck Insurance Costs: Here's How!

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jan 14, 2023

Deer-Accidents-and-Truck-Insurance-1000More accidents mean higher Truck Insurance, so it's crucial that all truck drivers understand potential hazards and how to avoid them. One hazard common to all drivers is deer and other animals. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there was an upward trend in deaths from collisions with animals from 1975 to the mid-2000s, which has leveled off in the past few years.

In 2020 there were 202 deaths from collisions with animals, reaching costs as high as $1 billion annually in damages nationwide. While smaller vehicles often experience more damage when colliding with large animals, commercial trucks are not immune. Collisions with animals can result in injuries or death, damage to trucks and cargo, lost time, and loss of revenue.

Sometimes collisions with deer and other animals are unavoidable, but there are steps truck drivers can take to minimize the risk and the damage caused by these collisions.

Know where there is higher risk.

Deer sightings can occur just about anywhere, but there are certain areas and times that have a higher risk.

  • According to the Insurance Information Institute, the top five states in 2021-2022 for the likelihood of animal-involved claims from a collision are West Virginia (1 in 35), Montana (1 in 44), South Dakota (1 in 51), Michigan (1 in 51, Wisconsin (1 in 54), and Pennsylvania (1 in 57). Therefore, drivers in these states should be more vigilant.
  • Watch for the yellow, diamond-shaped signs with an image of a deer, which indicates an area of high-level deer activity. When you see one of these signs, you should be extra alert.
  • According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, deer are most active during the dusk to dawn hours.
  • Autumn (November – the peak, October, and December) are a deer's breeding season, and they may be less aware of their surroundings.
  • In May and June, one-year-old deer begin to disperse to new areas.
  • Less populated states and regions tend to have higher animal populations.
  • Long stretches of isolated highways tend to have a higher risk of an animal darting in front of a truck.
  • Rural highways built along creeks, rivers, and lakes attract deer.
  • Heavily forested areas have higher animal populations.
  • Areas where farmers are harvesting crops, can cause deer to run onto a road.
  • During hunting season, deer are more likely to bolt in front of an oncoming vehicle.
  • If you travel a route regularly, watch for a pattern of areas with higher activity of deer and other animals.
  • Deer tend to travel in packs, so if you see one deer, chances are there are more nearby, and you need to remain on high alert.

Drive Safely

  • Stay alert.
  • Continually scan the road for signs of animals and activities.
  • Use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. Light can reflect off an animal's eyes, revealing its location.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Drive the posted speed limit.
  • Never drive impaired.
  • If driving on a multi-lane road, stay in the center lane to give you more time to respond if a deer runs onto the road.
  • Don't tailgate. Allowing space between you and the vehicle in front of you provides a broader field of vision and more reaction time, enabling you to break rather than swerve if a deer runs in front of you or the vehicle in front of you.

Know what to do if a deer does come into your path.

If a deer or other animal crosses your path, try to stay in your lane and avoid the urge to swerve. Swerving can cause you to lose control and increase the chance of colliding with another vehicle or ending up in a ditch. Plus, deer can be unpredictable, and swerving may put the deer right in your path. It's better to hit the deer than risk veering off the road, overturning your truck, or hitting another vehicle.

Sometimes, using your horn can frighten the animal and keep them off the road.

If a collision is imminent, remove your foot from the brake because braking hard may cause the front end of your vehicle to go down, causing the animal to fly over your hood and towards your windshield.

How to Save on Truck Insurance

At American Insuring Group, we go beyond providing you with affordable truck insurance. First, we carefully analyze the needs and risks associated with your business. Then, we match you up with the best trucking insurance policy based on a careful analysis of many competing insurance companies. The result? You get the high-quality commercial insurance coverage you need at a very affordable price.

Get a free quote today by calling (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

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

8 Tips for New Workers Comp Managers

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jan 07, 2023

Tips for WC Managers to Save on Workers Compensation Insurance in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Erie, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Allentown, Reading and throughout PAWithin small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the role of Workers' Compensation manager is often given to someone who has other roles within the business and little to no experience with WC. Unfortunately, Workers' Compensation can be complicated, and mistakes can be costly. So, if you find yourself in the role of WC manager, here are eight tips to help.

  1. Know What Your State Requires -Your state will determine whether or not you are required to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance, the WC regulations you need to follow, and how you can purchase the insurance. Click here for a state-by-state comparison and links to the entities responsible for Workers' Compensation. And remember, even if you are not required to purchase WC insurance, it may be worth having.

  2. Understand WC Basics – You need to know what WC does and doesn't cover, what WC classification codes and experience modifiers are, etc. Check out these 10 PA WC FAQs.

  3. Know How Workers' Comp Premiums are Calculated - Your Workers' Compensation premium is based on the following formula: WC Premium = Classification Code Rate X Experience Modifier X payroll/$100. Understanding this calculation helps you 1) ensure no errors are made and 2) see where you can save money on WC costs.

  4. Understand the Effect of Safety on WC Costs – According to The Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB), your experience rating is based on past claims and helps determine your experience modifier, which is an adjustment of your annual premiums based on the likelihood that you will file a claim. The safer your workplace, the fewer claims you will file, which lowers your experience modifier and what you pay for WC insurance.

  5. Realize That Timing is Crucial – Injuries should be treated immediately and reported promptly. Failure to report an injury promptly can jeopardize investigations, increase potential litigation, violate state law, and increase the cost of the claim. You must also manage WC claims (see below) to ensure quicker resolution.

  6. Consider a Return-To-Work Plan – The sooner you can get an employee safely back to work, the better. Studies show that returning to work after an injury is essential for recovery and can help reduce your WC costs. One way to get an injured employee back to work sooner is with a return-to-work program (RTW). An RTW is designed to get injured employees back to work as quickly as possible (based on their doctor's recommendation). That could mean the injured employee returns to modified duties or a temporary position to accommodate any limitations caused by the injury.

  7. Manage WC Claims – An employer's role does not end with filing a WC claim. Managing a WC claim is key to a quicker resolution, which includes ongoing communication with the injured employee, their medical team, and your insurance company during the claims.

  8. Learn How to Read a Loss Run Report - Loss Run 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. Insurance companies use this information to determine how risky your business is to insure, which can affect your premium. Therefore, you should check that the information is accurate, and you can use the information to lower insurance costs and improve other areas of your business.

  9. Protect Your Business from WC Insurance Fraud – Most injured employees are honest; however, some employees commit Workers' Compensation fraud, costing companies billions of dollars every year in rising insurance premiums, production delays, and training costs. Protect your business from WC insurance fraud by recognizing the warning signs of fraudulent claims.

  10. Review Annually - Your insurer will conduct an annual audit, and so should you. It's an opportunity to check for errors and provide any updates.

Bonus Tip: SAVE by Working With the Right Insurance Company

Each business has particular needs, and American Insuring Group specializes in commercial insurance for small to medium-sized businesses. In addition, we offer cost-effective Worker's Compensation insurance from various competing insurance companies. We'll work hard to get you the best price on quality insurance to protect your employees and your business!

Get a free quote today by calling (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, workers comp costs