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What Truck Drivers and Fleet Owners Need to Know About WC Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Mon, May 09, 2022

Workers Compensation Insurance Tips for Truck Drivers and Truck Fleet Owners in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster and throughout PACommercial Truck Insurance – including Workers’ Comp Insurance - is designed to help protect your business financially in the event of an accident. This is good because we all know that trucking can be a dangerous and expensive industry. 

According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, 4,842 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, and 107,000 large trucks were involved in crashes resulting in an injury. Furthermore, the Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports, “The estimated cost of police-reported crashes involving trucks with a gross weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds averaged $91,112 (in 2005 dollars).” 

Am I Required to Purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

In Pennsylvania and many other states, every employer (with very few exceptions) is required to carry Workers’ Compensation (WC) Insurance. WC covers medical expenses, disability payments, death benefits, and lost wages in a work-related injury or illness. Therefore, if you employ drivers – whether it’s delivering food locally or cargo across the country – you are required by law to carry Workers’ Comp for those drivers. 

The requirement for owner/operator drivers is a bit grayer. According to the Department of Labor and Industry, “If an insured utilizes owner/operators and is part of a trucking operation, proof of workers’ compensation insurance coverage may be required.” If you aren’t sure if you are required to carry Workers’ Comp insurance, speak with the WC experts at American Insuring Group or check on the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation website. 

However, even if you find that you are not required to carry WC insurance, you may want to consider purchasing it. “Insurance experts and many attorneys, in fact, say that allowing owner-operators to opt-out of coverage is simply asking for trouble,” states. “Owner-operators who run without some type of medical coverage risk financial devastation if they are injured on the job.” 

Consider this:

  • If you’re on your spouse’s medical insurance, work-related illnesses and injuries may not be covered.
  • Even if they are covered, if you’re injured and can’t work, you’re looking at lost income, which is something WC insurance covers but medical insurance typically does not.
  • If you are killed in a work-related accident, WC pays death benefits to provide financial support to your family.

 How Do I Purchase Workers’ Compensation?

Fortunately, purchasing Workers’ Compensation insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. The experienced agents at American Insuring Group can help. Here are typical questions we may ask when you’re requesting a quote:

  • What is your company’s name and type of business entity?
  • What is your FEIN or SSN?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • How many owners does your company have?
  • What are your liability limits?
  • Do you have a DOT number?
  • What type of vehicle(s) do you need to be insured?
  • What is the driving radius of your trucker(s)?
  • Is the driver hauling their own goods?
  • Does your operator(s) do loading and unloading?

 How Can I Lower Workers’ Compensation Insurance Costs?

There are many steps you can take to lower your WC and other insurance costs:

  • Hire the most qualified drivers
  • Provide safety training
  • Develop a positive culture of safety

Don't Miss Out on the Easiest Way to Save on Commercial Truck Insurance!

Another way to lower all your Commercial Truck Insurance costs is to work with an independent agent at American Insuring Group. We will carefully compare truck insurance coverages and costs among many competing carriers to ensure you receive the right coverage at the lowest cost.

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

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, truck insurance, PA Workers Compensation Insurance, 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: truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Physical Damage Truck Insurance, Cargo Trucking Insurance, Refrigerated Truck Insurance

How Can DST Affect Truck Insurance?

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Mar 10, 2022

Daylight Savings and PA Truck Insurance tips for Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown and Harrisburg truckersMost people wouldn’t think that Daylight Savings would affect Truck Insurance, and yet research shows that it may. Every spring on the second Sunday in March at 2 am, most Americans “spring forward” by moving their clocks ahead one hour to Daylight Savings Time (DST), thereby losing one hour of sleep. Perhaps a nuisance for truck drivers, but no big deal, right? Hmmm… maybe… maybe not.

According to a study that analyzed data of 732,835 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. from 1996 to 2017, “Spring DST transition acutely increases fatal traffic accident risk by 6% in the U.S.” The study attributes this increase to “sleep deprivation and circadian misalignment” and “changing illumination conditions for peak traffic density.”

The study concluded that “28 fatal accidents could be prevented yearly if the DST transition was abolished.” These numbers only reflect accidents with fatalities, not accidents that result in damage to a truck or injury to a driver.

As you know, more accidents typically mean higher trucking insurance premiums; therefore, DST can affect truck insurance costs.

About Daylight Savings

DST has been the topic of many heated debates for many years. DST was first adopted in Germany on May 1, 1916, during WW I to conserve fuel. The rest of Europe soon followed, and the U.S. adopted DST on March 19, 1918. However, Americans weren’t too keen on the idea, and it ended after W.W. I. Franklin Roosevelt revived DST on February 9, 1942, during WW II. It ended on September 30, 1945.

Two decades later, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 made DST a standard in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Transportation states (DOT) oversees both time zones and the observance of DST because “time standards are important for many modes of transportation.” However, states can exempt themselves from DST, and currently, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and most of Arizona do not observe DST.

According to the DOT, “Daylight Saving Time is observed for several reasons:”

  • It saves energy
  • It saves lives and prevents traffic injuries
  • It reduces crime

The debate on whether or not DST creates or prevents accidents and whether or not the U.S. should continue to observe it continues. One poll found that “Seven in 10 Americans prefer not to switch back and forth to mark daylight saving time.” However, wherever you stand on the debate, the fact is that most of us will be changing our clocks on Sunday, March 13, at 2 am. So how can truck drivers and fleet managers mitigate any of the possible adverse effects of DST?

4 Tips to Help Your Body Adjust to Daylight Savings Time:

The Cleveland Clinic offers four tips to help drivers adjust to DST:

  1. About a week before you spring forward, start going to bed 15 to thirty minutes earlier than you usually do
  2. Stick to your schedule
  3. Don’t take long naps
  4. Avoid coffee and alcohol

8 Driver Safety Tips:

  1. Ensure that all of your truck’s lights - headlights, taillights, signals, and auxiliary lights -are clean and in good working order.
  2. Avoid driving between 2 and 4 am and between 1 and 3 pm – peak times for fatigue-related collisions.
  3. Focus on driving and eliminate distractions (such as eating or texting).
  4. Reduce your speed when driving in the dark.
  5. Increase your following distance when driving in the dark.
  6. Always watch for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  7. Wear sunglasses with polarized lenses and U.V. protection to minimize sun glare (likely during evening rush hour) and eye fatigue.
  8. Pay attention to what your body is telling you.

How to Save More on Truck Insurance!

Fewer accidents typically mean lower insurance premiums, but don’t stop there! If you want to be certain you are paying the lowest rate for quality truck insurance, then you need to work with one of the independent agents at American Insuring Group.

We will check with multiple insurance companies to get you the best trucking insurance at the lowest rate. Call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips

Keep Truck Insurance Costs Down With Risk Management Strategies

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Feb 12, 2022

Get the best price on truck insurance in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and in the surrounding states. Contact us today.To keep Truck Insurance costs down, trucking companies and fleet managers need to understand how to manage risk. Unfortunately, the trucking industry is filled with risks – driver shortages, vehicle breakdowns, bad weather, deteriorating infrastructure, greater regulatory oversight, injuries, and more. One major collision, lost load, or driver injury can cost your company thousands or even millions of dollars. 

Understanding how to minimize those risks helps keep your drivers, trucks, and cargo safe. In addition, it allows your operation to run more efficiently and helps protect your company from financial losses (such as higher insurance premiums). 

3 Risk Management Strategies

  1. Hire the Most Qualified Drivers

Yes, we know there is a driver shortage, and it doesn’t look like that is going to change anytime soon. According to a 2019 American Trucking Association report, if the current trend continues, we could be looking at a shortage of 160,000 drivers in the U.S. by 2028. However, taking the time to recruit, vet, and hire the most qualified drivers will save a great deal of time, money, and headaches down the road. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to hiring top-quality CDL drivers. It offers tips such as…

  • Create an appealing CDL driver job post that shows what sets your company apart from others and clearly states their responsibilities, requirements, and qualifications.
  • Advertise for the position by posting on general sites and boards dedicated to CDL drivers, along with social media. Make sure your job is picked up by Google, ask your employees for referrals, and start a blog or vlog about trucking.
  • Thoroughly vet your candidates by Interviewing potential candidates and asking in-depth questions to help you determine how trustworthy they are, how they work under pressure, etc. Have them take a drug test and a road test. Get a Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) report and do a DOT background check.  
  1. Provide Safety Training

When drivers are involved in motor vehicle accidents, it exposes your company to liability risks, legal expenses, lost time, decreased productivity, and higher insurance costs. Therefore, it is essential to teach your drivers how to deal with the challenges they will face on the road with safety-oriented driver training for new hires and ongoing training. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), implementing a driver safety program will help keep drivers safer and potentially:

  • Decrease risk of motor vehicle collisions and traffic violations
  • Minimize exposure to liability risks and legal costs
  • Reduce insurance premiums and workers’ compensation claims
  • Lower vehicle repair bills and replacement expenses
  • Protect business operations and brand identity

 3. Develop a Positive Culture of Safety

A company with a positive safety culture will often experience increased productivity and engagement and lower employee turnover and injuries. Briotix Health states that a culture of safety “looks beyond specific safety policies and programs [and] captures the mindsets and behaviors towards safety of all company stakeholders–employees, managers, and owners.” Your company needs to make safety a top priority and get buy-in from all levels of the organization. 

To determine if your company has a positive culture of safety, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does management genuinely value employee safety?
  • Do employees feel empowered and take ownership over their own (and co-workers’) safety?
  • Is your business investing in safety programs and equipment?

 Keep Truckin, Inc offers six tips for managers to create a culture of safety for their drivers:

  1. Set the right example
  2. Communicate clearly and often
  3. Prioritize training and coaching
  4. Follow up and follow-through
  5. Recognize safe drivers
  6. Implement a fatigue management policy

Lower Your Truck Insurance Costs Today!

Another way to lower your truck insurance costs is to work with the experienced independent agents at American Insuring Group. They will shop and compare truck insurance coverage among lots of competing carriers to make sure you receive the right coverage at the lowest cost.

→ 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

Hazardous Materials and Commercial Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Dec 11, 2021

Hazardous Material Truck Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Allentown, Lancaster and throughout Pennsylvania

Operating large trucks imposes many risks – accidents, theft, fire, and more - but Commercial Truck Insurance is designed to help protect you, your business, as well as other drivers. For example, Commercial Automobile Insurance provides protection if a third party is injured in an accident. General Liability coverage provides protection if a third party's property is damaged. Cargo Insurance provides protection if your cargo is lost or damaged.

However, if your truck is carrying hazardous materials, you're looking at a whole new level of risk, and additional insurance may be required to protect you from those risks.

Hazardous Materials

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines hazardous materials as "those materials designated by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation as posing an unreasonable threat to the public and the environment."

That can include hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated temperature material, and more. Examples of hazardous materials include some battery-powered equipment, corrosives, dry ice, flammable solids, toxic substances, patient specimens, flammable solids, explosives, gases, etc.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, from 2016 to 2020, there were a total of 84,854 highway hazardous materials incidents, 34 highway hazardous materials fatalities, 623 highway hazardous materials injuries, and $286,837 in highway hazardous materials property damage.

Insurance Options

In addition to standard trucking insurance policies, truckers have additional options to protect them - some are required by law.

        • Transportation Pollution Liability – Sometimes called Environmental Insurance, Transportation Pollution Liability Insurance provides protection for materials being transported, shipped, or delivered. For example, if a cement truck rolls over and its contents end up polluting a stream.

        • Trucking Umbrella or Excess Liability — With limits up to $50,000,000, Trucking Umbrella or Excess Liability Insurance provides additional liability coverage beyond your primary liability limits on policies, such as General Liability or Commercial Auto Liability Policies.

        • Hazmat Hauler's Liability — Often required by a contract, Hazmat Hauler's Liability Insurance provides liability coverage for incidents not related to an automobile accident, such as delivering the wrong materials or products.

        • Single Deductible Endorsement — A deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out of pocket when you make an insurance claim. Typically, if an accident causes damage to your tractor, trailer, and cargo, you could be looking at three different deductibles. A Single Deductible Endorsement allows you to have one deductible; thereby, saving out-of-pocket expenses.

        • Loading & Unloading — Hazardous materials create risks even when they aren't being transported. Loading & Unloading coverage helps protect cargo when it is being loaded and unloaded from your truck.

        • Medical Payments— Offering an added level of protection for medical bills in the event of an accident, Medical Payments Coverage pays medical and other expenses for drivers and passengers, regardless of fault.

        • Truckers Downtime Insurance – Like Business Interruption Coverage, Truckers Downtime Insurance (typically added to your physical damage policy) helps cover lost income if you cannot use your truck due to a covered loss.

        • Loan or Lease Gap Coverage – If your truck or trailer depreciates faster than what you financed it for, Loan or Lease Gap Coverage pays the difference between the actual cash value and the unpaid balance on your lease or loan if your vehicle is totaled.

        • Truck Rental Reimbursement — Just because your vehicle is damaged in an accident doesn't mean you have to stop working. Truck Rental Reimbursement coverage (typically added to physical damage policy) covers a large part of the cost to rent a replacement vehicle.

How to Save on Trucking Insurance

Not all insurance needs are alike, and not every trucker or fleet owner needs the same coverage. American Insuring Group specializes in Truck Insurance and can ensure that you have the insurance that fits your needs. Plus, as independent agents, we compare coverage and pricing from multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premiums for quality coverage.

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, commercial vehicles

Commercial Truck Maintenance Schedules Lower Truck Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Nov 27, 2021

Commercial Truck Maintenance Schedules Lower Truck Insurance Costs in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, and throughout PAWe're all about saving you money on your Commercial Truck Insurance, but there's one step you can take that goes beyond just lowering your insurance costs - a commercial truck maintenance schedule. We understand that most truck drivers and fleet owners face challenging delivery schedules and don't have a lot of time on their hands.

But time spent on regular truck maintenance can help save time in the long run, reduce frustration, lower costs, and increase safety. Here's how!

Fewer Breakdowns

Even minor issues can cause truck breakdowns if ignored, and small issues can quickly become more significant - causing more downtime and higher repair costs - if not addressed immediately. Taking time to make a repair when it is discovered helps keep your truck moving. A breakdown on the road can be dangerous to the driver and can cause late shipments.

Higher Customer Satisfaction

An unexpected breakdown can cause late, inconsistent, or unpredictable delivery times that may force businesses to look at another trucking company that delivers consistently and on time. Regular truck maintenance results in fewer breakdowns and more reliable deliveries.

Safer Trucks/Fewer Accidents

The weight, height, and size of trucks make them more dangerous than smaller vehicles. Trucks need more time to stop, have larger blind spots, are more likely to roll over, and can cause more damage than a smaller vehicle. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2019, 5,005 large trucks were involved fatal crashes, and 118,000 were involved in accidents that resulted in an injury. Furthermore, the NSC reports that while large trucks accounted for only 4% of all registered vehicles and 7% of total vehicle miles traveled, they accounted for 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2019.

Regular maintenance helps make trucks safer. For example, braking deficiencies will sometimes allow a truck to stop during routine driving situations but may fail in an emergency when hard braking is required. Safer trucks lower the risk of accidents and make our roads safer for all drivers

Lower Operating Costs

Maintenance schedules help improve your bottom line in several ways.

  • More minor repairs – which can be caught during a maintenance check – are typically less expensive than major repairs.
  • Well-maintained trucks can lower fuel costs.
  • Fewer accidents mean lower insurance costs.
  • Late shipments caused by unexpected breakdowns can lead to the loss of customers.

Compliance With Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states, "the motor carrier must either inspect, repair, maintain, and keep suitable records for all vehicles subject to its control for 30 consecutive days or more, or cause another party to perform such activities. The motor carrier is solely responsible for ensuring that the vehicles under its control are in safe operating condition and that defects have been corrected."

Having a Commercial Truck Maintenance Schedule helps ensure that you are following FMCSA regulations.

How to Create a Commercial Truck Maintenance Schedule

Metalphoto of Cincinnati offers tips to establishing an effective preventative maintenance program that includes the following:

  1. What you need to implement a fleet preventative maintenance plan
  2. How to establish a baseline
  3. How to determine maintenance intervals
  4. Advice on fleet maintenance software
  5. A preventative maintenance service checklist
  6. How to develop a driver inspection and reporting system
  7. How to track metrics and monitor for success 

How to Save Even More on Commercial Truck Insurance

Don't stop with a maintenance schedule if you want to save even more on commercial truck insurance. Work with an insurance agent who understands your unique risks and challenges. American Insuring Group has been helping truck and fleet owners with their Commercial Truck Insurance needs for years. And, as independent agents, we check with multiple insurance companies to get you the lowest price.

Give us a call 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

What You Need to Know About Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Oct 26, 2021

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

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

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

Did you know?

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

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

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

Types of Commercial Truck Insurance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Lower Truck Insurance Costs the Easy Way

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

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

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

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

3 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

Dump Truck Safety and Insurance Savings Tips

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 07, 2021

Dump Truck Safety and Insurance Savings Tips in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, and throughout PAEvery type of truck – including dump trucks - comes with its own set of unique hazards. If you want to lower the cost of your Trucking Insurance, you need to understand those hazards so that you can reduce the risk of accidents, damage, and injury.

In 2016 (the most recent data available), there were 8,206 dump truck accidents severe enough that the vehicle had to be towed – a nine percent increase over 2015. That same year, 5,483 dump truck accidents involved injuries and 367 fatal dump truck accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).

There are two main types of dump truck hazards: driving hazards and operational hazards.

Operational Hazards

When the bed of a dump truck is raised for unloading, it can become unstable, especially when it’s on an uneven surface. This can cause tip-overs, rollovers, unbalanced loads, and crushing injuries. Working in freezing temperatures can add to the risk, as loads can become stuck inside, causing the vehicle to tip over as the dump body is raised.

“The amount of risk depends on many factors. These factors include dump site layout, dump site stability, truck performance, amount of light, decision-making abilities of equipment operators, and weather conditions. Important tasks for safety professionals are to quantify work site risks, to provide guidelines for identifying when risks are too great, and to determine what can be done to reduce these risks,” stated NIOSH.

To minimize these risks, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recommends that drivers:

  • Keep tires properly inflated and ensure they are not worn.
  • Ensure the load is evenly distributed.
  • Never overload the upper portion of the truck bed.
  • Keep the truck and trailer in a straight line when backing up, and never move faster than walking speed.
  • Stay in the cab with your seat belt on during the entire dumping process.
  • Never attempt to exit or jump from an overturning truck.
  • Dump only on level surfaces
  • Never dump when surfaces are uneven, loose, or not adequately compacted.
  • Use antifreeze in cold weather to prevent material from freezing and sticking in the truck bed.

Driving Hazards

As with any truck, dump trucks present unique driving hazards. The larger size – length, height, weight, ground clearance, etc. – and unique nature, creates additional driving challenges, such as shifting loads, larger blind spots, and longer stopping distances. And a higher center of gravity means they can roll over more easily.

When a truck is involved in an accident, there is a higher risk of more severe damage, injuries, and fatalities. In 2019, 5,005 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents, and 118,000 were involved in injury crashes, according to the National Safety Council. Large trucks account for 10% of all vehicles involved in deadly crashes.

Any employee operating a dump truck should receive ongoing safety training. The FMCSA offers these safety tips for truck drivers:

  1. Be vigilant
  2. Signal for safety
  3. Know when to slow down
  4. Maintain vehicle
  5. Buckle up
  6. Stay sharp
  7. Practice work zone safety
  8. Never drive distracted

Lower Your Trucking Insurance Costs

Understanding the unique hazards dump trucks present and how to avoid those hazards to minimize damage and injuries is the first step in lowering your trucking insurance costs. The second step is working with an independent agent at American Insuring Group.

We specialize in trucking insurance, so we can ensure you have the right coverage. Plus, as independent agents, we compare the cost of that coverage with multiple insurance companies to ensure you get the best price for that coverage. Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Contractor Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Contractor Safety Management