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

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 02, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Hire Wisely

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

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

Develop a Driver Safety Program

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

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

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

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

3. Documentation

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

Review Your Insurance Loss Run Report

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

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

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

How to Save on Insurance Premiums

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

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

5 Top Tips to Save on Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 18, 2021

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

Hire Wisely

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

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

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

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

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

3 Additional Tips:

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

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

Consider Your Routes

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

Consider Your Trucks

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

Consider Policy Structure

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

Make Safety a Priority

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

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

The Simplest Tip to Lower Your Truck Insurance Rates

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

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

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

Truck Insurance Safety Tips for Drivers on Unfamiliar Roads

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Feb 03, 2019

Follow these truck insurance safety tips when driving your commercial vehicle on unfamiliar roads!As a commercial vehicle driver, you probably travel on unfamiliar roads quite often, and when you’re unfamiliar with the roads, you’re more likely to get lost – an unclear turn, an unexpected accident, bad visibility.

When you get lost, it’s easy to get frustrated and impatient and make bad choices that can lead to accidents – especially when you’re on a tight schedule.

When you’re traveling on a familiar road, you know where that sharp turn is, where traffic tends to back up, and where that unexpected stop sign is located. When you’re on unfamiliar roads, you don’t have those advantages, which makes safe driving practices even more vital 

In fact, the Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that nearly one-quarter of large-truck crashes occurred when CMV drivers were unfamiliar with the roadway.

More accidents mean more injuries, which translates to higher truck insurance costs

Here are 3 tips to help you navigate unfamiliar roads more safely:

1 - Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

Before you get behind the wheel, take a look at a map or your GPS and have your route planned. If you’re driving along and realize you got off track, pull off somewhere safe where you can refer to your map or guidance system to regain your bearings.

It may be tempting to adjust electronic devices while you’re driving. Don’t do it! Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can result in an accident, and when you’re driving a 50,000-pound truck, the chances of that accident being severe enough to cause an injury are high.

If you’re transporting hazardous materials, you should also be aware of any route restrictions or designated routes required by state and local townships.

2 - Don’t Make Knee-Jerk Decisions

You’re in the passing lane of the interstate when you notice that you’re about to pass the exit you’re supposed to take. When you realize your mistake, you may be tempted to try to turn onto that exit quickly. Don’t do it! It isn’t worth the chance of causing injury to yourself or another driver. 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NAFTA Safety Stats, almost 50,000 moving violations from 2004 to 2007 were classified as improper turns or improper lane changes.

If you miss a turn, get off at the next exit or go around the block instead of making a knee-jerk decision.  

3 - Communicate With Other Drivers

Let other drivers know in advance what you intend to do – even if that’s just changing lanes – by using your turn signal. A recent study reported that there are approximately 630,000 lane-change crashes annually (involving both large trucks and passenger vehicles).

Here are other ways you can try to communicate with drivers around you:

  • Use your 4-way flashers if you have to pull off to the side of the road or when traffic is unexpectedly stopped in front of you.

  • Toot your horn to sound an alarm and warn another driver of your presence. Please, note that we say “tooting” and not “laying on” your horn. The misuse of a horn has been known to cause road rage, but it is one of the few ways that a driver can get the attention of another driver to prevent an accident.

  • Turn on your headlights. It can make your vehicle more visible especially at night or in bad weather. In fact, some trucks are programmed to have the low beam headlights on whenever the engine is running, and some states require the use of headlights when the windshield wipers are on. So make sure your headlights, turn signals, and brake lights are clean and use your headlights when appropriate.

When you’re driving on unfamiliar roads, it’s even more crucial that you exercise safe driving habits to keep yourself and those around you safe. Lower trucking insurance premiums that go with fewer accidents and claims is just icing on the cake.

Want to Save on Truck Insurance?

Affordable PA truck insurance for truckers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburg and Reading, PA.American Insuring Group can help you save even more on your trucking insurance. As independent agents, we’re free to shop the market for you among competing insurance carriers. So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online to start saving!

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

Safe Winter Driving Tips to Avoid a Car Insurance Claim

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Mar 13, 2017

Following safe winter driving tips can avoid accidents and reduce your auto insurance rates. Contact us to save in car insurance in Reading, Allentown, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.Higher accident rates go hand-in-hand with higher car insurance premiums. It goes without saying that winter driving conditions are the most challenging for drivers. Statistics show that nearly twenty-five percent of all weather-related crashes involve icy roads, snow, or slush. That’s because drivers can’t see as well, and slowing down and stopping on time can be compromised by road conditions.

Ideally, everyone would stay off the roads during these dangerous conditions, but that isn’t always possible. So, if you must travel during winter weather, follow these winter driving safety tips. Preparing your vehicle—and yourself—before and during the trip will remove some of the stress of driving under adverse conditions. It will also put the odds of returning safely in your favor!

Before you go

Before you venture on to those snow-covered roads, put together a vehicle survival kit, which includes an ice scraper, a snow shovel, and some salt. You will then be prepared for the storm that blows in when you’re away from home. Also, check your tires. Properly inflated tires with good tread are a must on slick roads. If you usually use snow tires, have them on your vehicle before the first snow arrives.

Fill up your gas tank at the start of your trip, and don’t let it fall below half. If you are stuck or stranded, you’ll want to have plenty of gas to run your engine and keep warm. Also, check your wiper blades and replace them if they’re streaking your windshield. It’s hard driving in slippery conditions; it’s even harder if you don’t have a clear look at the road. And don’t forget to fill your windshield fluid reservoir—it will help you clear snow and ice from your windshield.

Charge your phone before you leave. It’s a good idea to sign up for weather alerts texted to your phone, but it’s not a good idea to check them while you’re driving.

Driving tips while on the road

If your vehicle has been setting outside, clean it off before you leave. And that means clean everything: windows, mirrors, all lights, roof, hood, and trunk. Always drive with your headlights on and keep them clean to improve visibility. Be extra careful in areas where snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.

When you’re on the road, keep in mind that speed limits don’t apply to roads that are covered with snow and ice. Slow down and increase your following distance. Maintain as much control of your car as possible by avoiding cruise control in slippery conditions. Bridges and overpasses are the first surfaces to become icy, so use caution when you’re crossing them. Accelerate gently and brake with extra caution. Don’t pass snow plows and salt trucks. The road is much safer behind them than in front of them. Remember, safer driving means less chance of incurring an auto insurance claim, injury or worse.

If you get stuck

If you get stuck, stay with your car. You could get lost in a heavy snow if you set out on foot. Bundle up and sit tight. You can run the car heater for 10 minutes every hour. Just make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. You don’t want deadly carbon monoxide seeping into your vehicle because snow has blocked the pipe. Be extra safe by cracking your window to prevent any buildup.

Winter driving is always challenging. If you must be on the road, remember these tips

  • Drive slowly
  • Give yourself more time to stop
  • Pay attention to the road
  • Always wear your seat belt

If it’s possible, err on the side of caution. If you aren’t sure it’s safe to drive, wait until you are sure.

The Right Car Insurance Can Pay Off - Contact Us!

Follow these safe winter driving tips to avoid an accident. Contact us for help in selecting the best car insurance.Sadly, sometimes accidents are unavoidable. They just happen. If you are involved in an accident this winter, you’ll be glad you had the right insurance.

If you'd like an insurance review for your car, truck, RV, motorcycle or boat, contact American Insuring Group online, or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to learn more about how we can reduce your auto insurance rates.

As independent insurance agents, we're free to shop the market to find you the right protection at the best price. Contact us today.

Tags: Car Insurance Harrisburg PA, Car Insurance, Car Insurance Reading PA, Car Insurance Allentown PA, Car Insurance Philadelphia PA, Safe Driving Tips