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How to Minimize the Risk of Cargo Theft

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jan 13, 2024

Reduce cargo theft and save on Truck Insurance in Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Reading, York, and throughout PA.Cargo theft can increase Commercial Truck Insurance and other costs, and 2023 was a good year for thieves but a lousy year for trucking companies when it comes to cargo theft. In the second quarter of 2023, there were 566 cargo theft incidents in the U.S., a “57% year-over-year increase compared to 2022,” according to FreightWaves. The total value of those thefts was $44 million in goods, with the average shipment value per event at $260,703.

What is Cargo Theft?

The FBI defines cargo theft as “The criminal taking of any cargo including, but not limited to, goods, chattels, money, or baggage that constitutes, in whole or in part, a commercial shipment of freight moving in commerce, from any pipeline system, railroad car, motor truck, or other vehicle, or from any tank or storage facility, station house, platform, or depot, or from any vessel or wharf, or from any aircraft, air terminal, airport, aircraft terminal or air navigation facility, or from any intermodal container, intermodal chassis, trailer, container freight station, warehouse, freight distribution facility, or freight consolidation facility.

For purposes of this definition, cargo shall be deemed as moving in commerce at all points between the point of origin and the final destination, regardless of any temporary stop while awaiting transshipment or otherwise.”

Cargo thefts can happen anywhere along the transportation process; however, according to FreightWaves, most cargo thefts occur near warehouses and distribution centers, unsecured parking lots, and company truck yards and premises. Any cargo can be targeted – from expensive electronics to beverages and food. Cargo thefts can be carefully planned by a sophisticated group of thieves or, on the fly, by inexperienced thieves.

3 Common Types of Cargo Theft

  1. Fictitious Pickup – “This type of cargo theft relies on subcontracting the shipment to a legitimate motor carrier and having the shipment misdirected to another address,” Tank Transport Fictitious pickups are on the rise, according to FreightWaves, with 127 more year-to-year in the second quarter of 2023.

  2. Pilferage – Pilferage or leakage occurs when only part of the shipment is stolen. A few boxes could be stolen, or the thieves could open a box, remove some items, and reseal the box. With this type of theft, the driver may not even realize they’ve been robbed.

  3. Grab and Go – With the grab-and-go method, criminals follow a shipment until the driver pulls into a truck stop or restaurant. When the driver leaves the vehicle, the thieves steal as much merchandise as possible. The grab-and-go method is most often used to steal high-value or high-tech cargo.

13 Truck Driver Tips to Minimize the Risk of Cargo Theft

  1. Stay alert by paying attention to your surroundings (especially at night), watching for occupied vehicles in parking lots, distribution centers, etc., watching for anyone following you, and being aware and looking for possible hijacking ploys.

  2. Try to keep an eye on the truck at all times, but if you need to leave it unattended, only do so for short periods.

  3. Park in safe, secure truck parking lots with good lighting and 24/7 security whenever possible.

  4. Subscribe to a reporting service that monitors area thefts., such as FreightWatch or CargoNet.

  5. Frequently communicate with your company and all members of the supply chain.

  6. Screen drivers to avoid entrusting your cargo to dishonest and untrustworthy drivers.

  7. Use technology, such as hidden GPS trackers in the shipment, intelligent routing, advanced locking technologies, etc.

  8. Preplan Your Route to help you identify safe places to stop and high-theft areas to avoid.

  9. Vary Your Route so you don’t become predictable.

  10. Arrive at the pickup location fully rested, fueled, and fed because it’s less likely that a thief will follow you for several hours.

  11. If picking up a loaded, sealed trailer, check that the seal number on the trailer and bill of lading match.

  12. Keep information, such as the license plate number, container number, and truck description, with you at all times.

  13. Don’t share information about cargo or trip details on social media, the radio, etc.

How to Get Affordable Commercial Truck Insurance

The right insurance helps protect your business from the loss resulting from cargo theft, injuries, damage, liability, etc. At American Insuring Group, our experienced agents help you get the right trucking insurance coverage at the lowest cost by comparing multiple competing insurance providers.

Call us today to start saving: (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

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

Trucking Insurance Facts for Independent Drivers

Posted by David Ross on Sat, May 13, 2023

Contact us for Trucking Insurance for independent drivers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, York and throughout PAIf you are or are planning to become an independent owner-operator, you must ensure that you have the right Commercial Truck Insurance coverage. One serious accident without proper insurance can put you out of business. On the other hand, paying for coverage you don't need can seriously affect your bottom line.

You're probably busy, and insurance can be complicated, so it may be tempting to pass the job of getting insurance onto someone else, like your broker or carrier. But no one else has as much invested in the success of your business or knows your specific needs as well as you do. Therefore, you must be informed and knowledgeable about insurance to ensure you get the coverage best suited to your unique needs.

What Type of Insurance is Available to Independent Drivers?

There are several types of insurance coverage that you may need as an independent driver. Of course, you probably do not need all of them, but it's important to consider potential risks and available insurance protection:

  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance protects you if you are liable for property damage. The Insurance Information Institute states, "CGL coverage is one of the most important insurance products due to the negative impact that a lawsuit can have on a business and because such liability suits happen so frequently."
  • Cargo Insurance protects against loss from legal liability for damage to goods or merchandise in your care and custody while in transit. It also provides coverage for things like debris removal and refrigeration breakdown.
  • Trailer Interchange Insurance covers the insured's legal liability for damage to the trailers of others.
  • Physical Damage Insurance typically insures your truck against damages from collisions, vandalism, fire, and theft. Most lenders require that you have this type of insurance.
  • Non-Trucking Coverage is for those things that are not directly related to the trucking operation. For example, this coverage would include an occupational accident for the truckers and insurance for trucks that drive without cargo (i.e., the cargo has been delivered, and the truck is coming back empty).
  • Passenger Accident Insurance covers the cost of medical expenses or accidental death to passengers in your vehicle who are not employees.
  • Bob Tail Insurance ) is a liability insurance that provides coverage when operating a truck without an attached trailer or semitrailer.

What Affects the Cost of Truck Insurance for Independent Drivers?

Understanding the factors that affect the cost of your insurance can help lower your premiums. Here are some things that affect the price of truck insurance for independent drivers:

  • Experience – Some insurance companies require a minimum of three years of CDL experience before they will even issue you a policy.
  • Your Driving Record – The better your driving record – the fewer accidents and violations - the lower your insurance premiums.
  • Cargo You're Hauling – Some types of cargo are more susceptible to theft or damage, which will increase insurance costs. And high-value cargo is also more expensive to insure.
  • The Type, Age, and Condition of Your Truck – Larger and heavier trucks are more prone to accidents and can cause more damage, so that insurance may be higher. In addition, a truck with a higher price tag will also be more expensive to insure. However, safety features can lower the cost of insurance.
  • Location – Some states require more insurance coverage than others. Plus, the more miles you need to travel also affects the cost of insurance, and some routes are considered more hazardous due to weather conditions, population, etc.
  • Deductible – Your deductible is the amount of money you will be required to pay before your insurance kicks in when you make a claim. The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. But you need to ensure that you have enough funds to cover the deductible if you need to make a claim.
  • Payment Plan – If you can pay the premium in full – rather than in several payments - many insurance companies will offer a discount.

How to Get the Right Trucking Insurance for Your Needs

To get the right coverage and the lowest cost, talk to one of the agents at American Insuring Group. We specialize in truck insurance and we know your unique challenges and needs. Furthermore, as independent agents, we compare coverage and premiums among many insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest price for quality insurance protection.

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

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

Refrigerated Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Apr 02, 2022

Refrigerated Truck Insurance tips for truckers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Lancaster, York and everywhere in PACommercial Truck Insurance is designed to help drivers, fleet owners, and managers manage risk. Whether that risk is an injured employee, a totaled vehicle, or damaged cargo, insurance can help ease the financial burden. Damaged (spoiled) cargo is a particular concern for companies that operate refrigerated (or reefer) trucks, which is where Refrigerated Truck Insurance comes into play.

The refrigerated transport market was estimated at $14.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to $23.1 billion by 2027. One report stated, “The refrigerated transport market is gaining momentum, owing to the escalation in globalization that has led to the growth of trade and a surge in demand for frozen and packaged food across the globe.”

Today, refrigerated trucks transport fresh and frozen food, medicines, flowers, fine art, cosmetics, and more and have become essential to the transportation industry.

But before we talk about refrigerated truck insurance and how it can protect your business, let’s take a look at the fascinating history of refrigeration and refrigerated trucks.

History of Refrigerated Trucks

Back in the 1800s, people in the meat-packing industry were trying to figure a way to transport meat across long distances via the railroad without the cargo spoiling. Entrepreneurs experimented by fitting boxcars with bins filled with ice and removing doors to allow winter temperatures to keep cargos cold, but few experiments proved successful.

In 1867, William Davis developed the first patented refrigerator railcar for meat-packer George H. Hammond. The meat was suspended from metal hooks on the roof with ice and salt below it. However, the height of the meat caused many boxcars to derail. That same year, J.B. Sutherland developed a refrigerator car with ice tanks at each end of the car, along with ventilator flaps to create a downdraft of cold air. However, the ice needed to be replaced once a day, and the meat became discolored as it came in contact with the ice.

A few years later, Joel Tiffany – a Swift and Company (meat processing plant) engineer – and Andrew Chase developed refrigerator railcars. Both of these cars stored ice on the roof and dropped cold air down while warm air was ventilated out through the floor. The meat was held on the bottom of the boxcar to avoid derailments. This was the best option to date and helped meat-packing companies boom. However, the issue of melting ice that could quickly spoil the meat continued to be a problem.

It wasn’t until the late 1930s that Frederick McKinley Jones built the first automatic, ice-free air-cooling unit for trucks. It was shock-proof and could withstand the jolting and vibrations caused by long-distance trucking. At first, the air conditioner was placed under the truck, which quickly became clogged with mud. Simply moving the unit to the front of the truck above the cab solved that problem, and Jones patented his truck air conditioner in 1940.

Refrigerated Truck Insurance

Jones’s invention changed the food industry and, for the first time, allowed for the transportation of perishable items, such as meat, over long distances. Food production facilities could be located anywhere, and fresh and frozen foods became available to more people.

However, mechanical breakdowns still occur, and trucks can be involved in accidents. If refrigerated cargo isn’t consistently kept at a specific temperature, it can spoil. Refrigeration Truck Insurance typically includes liability and physical damage along with reefer breakdown insurance (Aka refrigeration unit breakdown coverage) to cover spoiled cargo due to refrigeration unit breakdowns. If you operate one or more temperature-controlled trailers that transport perishable goods, you need the unique coverage refrigeration truck insurance provides.

Here's How to Save on Truck Insurance

The best way to save on commercial truck insurance is to work with one of the independent agents at American Insuring Group. Not only do we specialize in trucking insurance so we can assure you have the right coverage, but as independent agents, we compare the cost of that coverage among competing insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest rate.

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

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Physical Damage Truck Insurance, Cargo Trucking Insurance, Refrigerated Truck Insurance

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

Truck Driver Summer Safety and Insurance Tips

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Jul 14, 2021

Truck Driver Summer Safety Tips to Save on Trucking Insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown and points in between.Safer drivers mean fewer accidents, and fewer accidents mean lower Truck Insurance premiums. While the months of snow, ice, and freezing rain may be behind us, now is not the time for drivers to let down their guard.

According to the National Safety Council, in 2019, the highest number of motor-vehicle deaths – 3,351 – occurred in August. The number of deaths was also high in June (3,189) and July (3,294). Meanwhile, February – one of the snowiest months in the U.S. - had the lowest motor-vehicle deaths at 2,388.

Why are Roads More Deadly in the Summer?

Drivers should understand why roads tend to be more dangerous in the summer, so they can address the very issues that cause it.

  • More Drivers – There are more drivers on the road during the summer months. Many teens are enjoying their summer breaks going places – visiting friends, summer jobs, going to the beach. Also, according to Gallup, July is the most popular month for summer vacations, followed by August, June, and September. And, finally, there are more motorcycles on the road during the summer months.
  • Less Experienced Drivers – And many of these additional drivers have less experience. Teens have fewer hours on the road, and adults may be driving in unfamiliar areas or driving an unfamiliar vehicle such as an RV or motorcycle or towing a trailer.
  • More Congestion – Certain locations – such as beach areas or amusement parks – attract more people during the summer months. More vehicles in one area can cause more traffic and heavier congestion. There are also more walkers, runners, and bicyclists out on the roads during the warmer months.

Truck Driver Safety Tips

Watch for Construction Zones

Check the Department of Transportation’s website for each state you’ll be traveling through to find areas that may be under construction. If you can’t avoid roads with construction, at least try to avoid them during rush hour.

Watch the Weather

The heat and storms of summer can bring unique challenges to truck drivers. Check the weather when you plan a trip and have a contingency plan if it looks like you’re heading a bad storm. Drivers can Dial 511 - a transportation and traffic information hotline - or go on the state’s Department of Transportation’s website to see if the weather is affecting road conditions.

Also, ensure your truck is prepared for the heat. As temperatures rise, the chance of mechanical failure also rises. During your pre-trip inspection, make sure the air conditioner in your cab is working, and check the engine’s coolant level and tire pressure, as the heat of summer can cause more blowouts.

And, finally, take care of yourself. Excessive heat can cause dehydration and fatigue. Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays, wear sunscreen, and take breaks as needed.

Watch Yourself

Truck drivers should always exercise extra caution because large trucks can cause more damage and more severe injuries than smaller vehicles. Safety becomes even more important as you face more traffic and more inexperienced drivers during the summer months.

When there’s a lot of traffic, drivers can become more impatient, follow you too closely, or cut you off. Drivers on unfamiliar roads may slow down to read signs or suddenly take a turn or an exit. Be particularly vigilant if you see an out-of-state license plate, which could mean the driver is unfamiliar with the roads, and use extra caution when passing a vehicle towing a trailer to avoid causing a sway in your wake.

Also, avoid distractions, such as talking or texting on your phone. Look for other drivers who may be distracted and be extra careful and extra vigilant around them.

And finally, wear your seatbelt. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22,697 drivers and passengers died in motor vehicle crashes in 2018. More than half (between the ages of 13 and 44) were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Save Now on Truck Insurance

When an accident does occur, the right insurance can help protect your business and get your truck back on the road. We help you save by quoting a variety of quality trucking insurance providers.

Give the Truck Insurance experts at American Insuring Group a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Commercial Insurance Berks County, Trucking Insurance, Cargo Trucking Insurance

Can Fleet Insurance Lower the Cost of Truckers Insurance?

Posted by David Ross on Sat, May 22, 2021

Affordable Fleet Truck Insurance for Trucking Companies in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg and throughout PAIf your business owns or uses trucks, you need to have the right Truck Insurance to protect your vehicles, employees, and business. 

Trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars, and they are also taller with greater ground clearance. Trucks also take longer to stop. A loaded tractor-trailer takes 20-40 percent farther to stop than a personal vehicle. 

Therefore, the risk for trucks is significantly higher than it is for personal vehicles. Higher risks mean higher consequences. In 2019, 4,119 people died in large truck crashes, and 97% of vehicle occupants killed in a two-vehicle crash involved a large truck. The average cost of a significant truck accident involving a fatality is $13.6 million, and the average cost of all large truck accidents is $91,000. 

The right truckers' insurance helps ensure that one major accident doesn't put you out of business. 

If you use a truck (or any vehicle) for business, you need to have Commercial Auto Insurance (a non-fleet insurance); however, you may qualify for fleet insurance if you own five or more trucks. Fleet insurance can help you save money and manage your fleet more efficiently. 

Here's what you need to know about Fleet Insurance. 

Fleet Insurance vs. Non-Fleet Insurance

Your vehicle(s) can be classified as non-fleet, which means each vehicle is insured under an individual insurance policy. If you can classify your vehicles as fleet vehicles, all of them are insured under one policy. 

Non-Fleet Insurance

In almost every state, it is illegal to operate a vehicle without valid insurance. If a vehicle is used for commercial purposes – such as transporting goods - a Commercial Auto Policy is required. Many business uses or vehicle types can be excluded from personal auto Insurance policies. 

A non-fleet vehicle can be owned by a company or an individual. With a "non-fleet" Commercial Auto Policy, the underwriting is based primarily on the driver – his or her driving record, driving experience, documented claims, etc. 

Fleet Insurance

Fleet insurance is a commercial vehicle insurance that covers more than one vehicle and driver. It can be a fleet of cars, trucks, ships, or aircraft covered under one insurance policy. How many vehicles constitute a fleet varies by state and by insurance companies. Typically, the minimum is five vehicles. Often, ten or more units is required to qualify for fleet insurance. 

To qualify for fleet insurance, the vehicles must be owned by a business, not an individual/driver. Because there are more underwriting variables with a fleet, working with an insurance agent with experience in Trucking Insurance is crucial. 

Advantages of Fleet Insurance

Utilizing a fleet insurance policy means having one insurance policy for all of your vehicles instead of multiple policies. Fleet insurance may reduce the overall cost of insurance, save hours of administrative work, and make fleet management more manageable. 

Fleet Insurance often comes with more deposit down payment options, and there is only one renewal date, so you don't have to keep track of multiple insurance policies. Fleet insurance can also make it easier to assign drivers to different vehicles. 

How to Save on Fleet Insurance

Typically, the more trucks you have, the higher the value, which means higher insurance premiums, but the number of trucks is not the only thing that will affect your costs. Other factors include…

  • Type of Trucks
  • Age of Trucks
  • Value of trucks
  • How the trucks will be used
  • The type of policy 

An insurance agent with experience in Truckers Insurance – like the agents at American Insuring Group – can help determine which type of policy is best for your specific needs and share opportunities for cost savings. Plus, as independent agents, we will compare different policies and quotes to ensure you pay the lowest price for that coverage. 

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

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

5 Questions to Ask About Cargo Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Apr 29, 2021

Get the proper cargo insurance as part of your trucking insurance for trucking companies in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Allentown, Pittsburgh and throughout PennsylvaniaAs more and more risk managers require Cargo Insurance, it’s essential to understand how it fits in with your Trucking Insurance Coverage. When the cargo you are transporting is lost or damaged, liability for that loss can fall on the transportation company, the shipper, the recipient, or the driver. And while you may do everything within your power to ensure the safe delivery of your cargo, things – beyond your control – can happen. 

Cargo Insurance helps cover the freight or commodity that you are hauling if it is lost or damaged. However, not all Cargo Insurance policies are the same; therefore, you must understand the policy you’re purchasing so you have the protection you need without paying more than you need to. 

Here are five questions every driver should ask about Cargo Insurance: 

Do I qualify for Motor Cargo Insurance?

Cargo Insurance is available to for-hire truck drivers. Typically, it is available for the following truck body types:

  • Tractor
  • Most trailers
  • Dump Trucks
  • Box Trucks
  • Cargo Vans
  • Flatbeds
  • Car Haulers
  • Cement mixers 

Typically, Cargo Insurance is not available for the following:

  • Garbage Trucks
  • Ice Cream Trucks
  • Limousines
  • Hearses
  • Buses
  • Passenger Vans 

What cargo is covered and not covered?

Most types of cargo are covered under Cargo Insurance; however, there are also many exclusions, which is why it’s important to work with a trusted insurance agent. 

Typical exclusions include the following:

  • Live animals
  • Art, Jewelry, Money, Paper
  • Tobacco and Alcohol
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Contraband
  • Explosive materials
  • Shipping containers
  • Storage longer than 72 hours
  • Cargo in the custody of another carrier
  • Cargo owned by the insured
  • Cargo not included in the Bill of Lading

Some Cargo Insurance policies also include debris removal. If your cargo is accidentally dumped on the road, this coverage helps pay for the expense of removing it or the extraction of pollutants caused by the debris. You can also purchase coverage to pay for costs related to preventing additional damage to the spilled cargo. 

What incidents are covered and not covered?

Most Cargo Insurance policies cover collision, theft, natural disasters, acts of war, customs rejection, and fire, but again, you must confirm that what you are hauling is covered by the insurance you’re purchasing. 

Refrigerated truck drivers may also want to consider purchasing reefer mechanical breakdown coverage, which helps cover refrigerated cargo that is spoiled due to a mechanical breakdown or an accident. But read the fine print as there may be cargo excluded from that policy, such as seafood, tobacco products, or pharmaceuticals. 

What are the limits and the deductible?

Your Motor Truck Cargo Insurance will also come with a limit, which is the maximum amount the insurance company will cover if your cargo is lost or damaged. If you are carrying high-end cargo – such as electronics – you’ll need to ensure that you have a higher limit. On the other hand, if the value of your cargo is low, you may be able to lower your costs by reducing your limit. 

Increasing the deductible is a common way to lower just about any insurance premium, and Cargo Insurance is no exception. The deductible is the amount that the policyholder will have to pay before the insurance company kicks in if a claim is made. The higher the deductible, the lower your premiums. However, you need to make sure that you have some way to cover that deductible if you need to make a claim. 

How can I save on Cargo Insurance?

The best way to save on Cargo Insurance is to work with independent agents that specialize in trucking insurance. American Insuring Group has specialized in Truck Insurance for many years. Our agents know what questions to ask to ensure that you have the right coverage for your needs, and as independent agents, they check with several carriers to ensure you pay the lowest price for that coverage. 

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

Tags: truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Cargo Trucking Insurance

3 Tips to Minimize the Risk of Cargo Theft

Posted by David Ross on Fri, Mar 26, 2021

Minimize the Risk of Cargo Theft to save on truck insurance in Philadelphia, Allentown, Berks County, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Lancaster, York and throughout Pennsylvania.Cargo Theft is a $15 to $35 billion industry that can drive up Truck Insurance premiums and deductibles. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), there were 8,676 cargo vehicle thefts reported in the U.S. in 2017, translating to about 24 thefts every day. 

And it appears the COVID-19 pandemic is only making the problem worse. Freight Waves reported a 26.92% year-over-year increase in reported cargo thefts in September 2020 and a 91.43% year-over-year increase in April 2020.

If you want to minimize the cost of lost loads, the effort of recovery, and increased insurance costs, you need to take steps to ensure the safety of the cargo you’re shipping. Here are some tips: 

Know What is In Demand

Drivers need to know if they’re transporting in-demand commodities so that they can take additional precautions. Thieves will steal what they can resell, and they can be very focused. 

Typical targets include food and beverages (which can be quickly consumed and leave no trace), consumer electronics, and drugs. After severe storms, there is an increase in building supplies being stolen. It’s no surprise that during the pandemic in the third quarter of 2020, there was a significant increase in the theft of commodities such as cleaning supplies and PPE. 

Freight Waves also reports an increase in pilferage theft – stealing small portions of a load. Trailer break-ins and pilferages accounted for 22% of all reported robberies in the third quarter of 2020. 

If a driver knows they are carrying high-value or in-demand products, they need to be even more vigilant. 

Know the High-Risk Places and Times

Thieves tend to go where the pickings are good. According to Port Technology, Los Angeles (traffic of 9.46 million TEU in 2018) and Long Beach (8.09 million TEU) are the two busiest container ports in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that California tops the list of the biggest hot spots for cargo theft. Texas is at the center of cross-border freight, which accounts for its second place on the list. 

The NICB reported the ten states that are the biggest targets for cargo thefts are:

  1. California (1,770)
  2. Texas (1,255)
  3. Florida (921)
  4. Illinois (712)
  5. New Jersey (468)
  6. Georgia (438)
  7. Alabama (214)
  8. North Carolina (204)
  9. Indiana (192)
  10. Missouri (181) 

According to the NICB, most cargo thefts occur on weekdays, with Monday and Friday being the most significant days for these thefts. So, if a driver is driving through California on a Monday or Friday with an in-demand commodity, they should be on high alert. 

Hire and Train Wisely

Drivers are responsible for hundreds or thousands of dollars in commodities, so it’s crucial that you hire the most honest and dependable drivers (and warehouse employees). It starts with innovative recruiting. Attract the best drivers by showing that your company is a great company to work for and let them know what your company is all about with pictures and videos on your website and social media sites. Another way to attract the best drivers is to offer competitive wages. 

It’s also crucial that you screen potential hires (and warehouse workers or anyone with access to shipping information) with thorough background checks following your industry’s screening laws. Background checks could potentially include criminal records, drug and alcohol testing, driving records, and license checks. 

You should also establish best practices and provide security training, including hijack awareness and prevention, so drivers know how to protect themselves, along with your truck and your cargo. 

How to Save on Truck Insurance Costs

Another key to managing risk is Trucking Insurance. American Insuring Group offers all of your Truck Insurance needs – from Cargo Insurance to Transit Coverage and more. Give one of our independent agents a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online for a free quote. They’ll check with several insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest price possible for your insurance needs.

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

3 Tips to Keep Drivers Safe and Save on Truck Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Feb 13, 2021

3 Tips to Keep Drivers Safe and Save on Truck Insurance Costs in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and in PA and beyond.As you know, good drivers aren’t easy to come by, so keeping them as safe as possible on the road should be a top priority. Keeping your drivers safe has the added benefit of lowering Truck Insurance costs and other costs associated with accidents. 

According to CNBC, people who drive for a living – driver/sales workers and truck drivers – are in the sixth most dangerous job in the U.S., with 96 fatal injuries and 78,520 non-fatal injuries in 2018. If you can lower the number of your drivers involved in accidents, you can reduce employee turnover, increase employee morale, and decrease costs, such as insurance premiums, claim payouts, lost workdays, etc. 

Here are three tips to help keep your drivers safe, lower the number of accidents, and improve your company’s bottom line. 

Encourage Defensive Driving defines defensive driving as “the practice of using driving strategies that minimize risk and help avoid accidents, as by predicting hazards on the road.” Some of those strategies include the following:

  • Looking Ahead – It takes longer for a truck carrying a heavy load to stop than it does a car, so truck drivers need to look ahead to see and anticipate potential hazards, such as stopped traffic. 
  • Keeping Eyes Moving – Drivers who are on the road a long time often become complacent to their surroundings. Truck drivers should always be scanning their environment – looking at what is ahead and around them and using side and rearview mirrors to see what is behind them.
  • Maintaining a Buffer Zone – It’s impossible to predict what other drivers will do, and trucks have very limited maneuverability, so truck drivers should always establish and maintain a buffer zone around their vehicle. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For a typical tractor-trailer, this results in 4 seconds between you and the leading vehicle. For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second.”
  • Having an Escape Route – Maintaining a buffer zone should minimize the need to swerve; however, sometimes stopping in time just isn’t possible. Drivers should always consider escape routes available to them if they need them.
  • Keeping Cool – Driving can be stressful, and there are plenty of inconsiderate drivers on the road. Becoming angry or aggressive while driving doesn’t help. Aggressive driving can include passing where prohibited, following improperly, erratic lane changing, etc. Between 2003 and 2007, aggressive driving played a role in 56 percent of fatal crashes. Truck drivers need to keep their cool at all times and slow down to allow aggressive drivers to get well ahead of them. 

Properly Maintain Vehicles

A poorly maintained tractor-trailer is not only a danger to your drivers; it’s a danger to everyone around the vehicle – other drivers, pedestrians, bikers, etc. A blown tire or a faulty brake can be deadly. Plus, a well-maintained vehicle will last longer. 

Therefore, it is in your best interest to maintain your fleet with a regular maintenance schedule. That schedule should include a plan to prevent brake wear and failure, testing to avoid engine problems, frequent oil changes, replacing parts subject to wear and tear, inflating tires to the right levels (which will also help you save on fuel bills), and more. Here are 14 maintenance tips for trucks. 

Another component of vehicle maintenance is the pre-and post-trip inspections. Federal law requires drivers to submit a Daily Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) for each power unit they operate. These inspections include checking the brakes, turn signals, lights, fuel system, and much more. 

Pre- and post-trip inspections help save time, money, and lives. A pre-trip inspection helps ensure drivers are operating a safe vehicle before they hit the road, and post-trip inspections allow time to fix issues before they need to go back on the road.  

Consider the Use of Technology

Consider using technology to help keep your drivers and your fleet safe. Do your research to determine what will work best for your drivers and your fleet. Some technology to consider:

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – According to the NHTSA, ESCs are designed to “reduce untripped rollovers and mitigate severe understeer or oversteer conditions that lead to loss of control by using automatic computer-controlled braking and reducing engine torque output.” The NHTSA states, “We believe that ESC systems could prevent 40 to 56 percent of untripped rollover crashes and 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes. By requiring that ESC systems be installed on truck tractors and large buses, this proposal would prevent 1,807 to 2,329 crashes, 649 to 858 injuries, and 49 to 60 fatalities at less than $3 million per equivalent life saved while generating positive net benefits.”
  • Eyelid Monitoring – This type of system uses a cabin-mounted camera to monitor drivers’ eyelids and alert the driver if their eyelids droop.
  • Automatic Brakes – This type of system uses radars to apply automatic brakes if an imminent crash is detected.
  • Continuous Remote Data Feed – Computers can warn drivers if disturbing driving habits, such as swerving, are detected. Safety managers can also use videos.

Doing what you can to keep your drivers safe just makes good business sense. 

Ready to Save on Truck Insurance?

Another thing that makes good business sense is having the right insurance coverage at the lowest price. Because American Insuring Group specializes in Truck Insurance, we can help you determine the right insurance coverage for your business, whether you're in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, or elsewhere in PA and the tri-state area. Because we’re independent agents, we research multiple carriers to ensure that you pay the lowest premium for that great coverage.

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

Tags: truck insurance, Business Insurance, Trucking Insurance, Cargo Trucking Insurance

What is Cargo Trucking Insurance and Do You Need It?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Nov 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

What it Covers

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

Not Available Everywhere

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

Types of Trucks That Can be Covered

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

Cargo Trucking Insurance Costs 

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

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

Insurance Exclusions and Limitations

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


We Can Help With All Your Cargo Trucking Insurance Needs

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

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

American Insuring Group - we know trucking insurance!

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