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What You Need to Know About Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Oct 26, 2021

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

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

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

Did you know?

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

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

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

Types of Commercial Truck Insurance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Lower Truck Insurance Costs the Easy Way

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

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

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

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

3 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

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

Dictionary.com 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

Lower Trucking Workers’ Comp Costs With Safety Training

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jun 09, 2019

save-truck-workers-comp-300If you want to lower workers’ compensation insurance costs in your trucking company, the solution is simple! Provide safety training to lower the number of injuries, cultivate happier and more productive employees, and lower your WC costs. 

When it comes to safety training for truck drivers, it’s natural to think about steps to avoid traffic accidents. After all, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that crashes are the leading cause of on-the-job deaths for truck drivers in the US. 

But truck drivers also incur injuries getting in and out of their trucks or handling cargo, and these injuries can affect your workers’ comp costs. The good news is that many common workplace injuries in the trucking industry are preventable with the right safety training. 

Here are four areas that should be included in any safety training in the trucking industry if you want to lower your workers’ comp costs

Slips, Trips, and Falls

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 23,490 transportation and warehousing employees were injured in falls, and 46 died in 2016. The NSC also found that the fall doesn’t have to be from a high level to cause severe and sometimes fatal injuries.

Here are fall safety tips:

  • Ensure proper training on the use of all equipment
  • Never push or carry a load that will block your vision
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Keep areas where employees will be walking free of clutter
  • Make sure all mats, rugs, and carpets lie flat
  • Wear slip resistant shoes
  • Check all equipment for damage before using 

Three-Point Contact

According to the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, more than one-quarter of all injuries to equipment operators and truck drivers occur while getting into or out of equipment and trucks. One way to avoid these injuries is to employ the three-point contact rule. 

That means maintaining three points of contact with the truck – two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand - whenever climbing in or out of your vehicle. 

Lifting

Lifting is such an every-day activity that it’s easy to forget how quickly an injury can occur when improperly lifting cargo, but those injuries can significantly affect your workers’ compensation costs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), lifting heavy objects is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. Shoulder and back injuries accounted for 36 percent of injuries that resulted in missed work days, and the most significant factors in these injuries were overexertion and cumulative trauma. 

Training your employees on how to lift heavy items correctly can avoid back sprains, wrist and elbow injuries, muscle pulls, spinal injuries, and more. 

OSHA reports that five factors generally contribute to lifting injuries – the weight of the object being lifted, awkward postures, frequent or long-duration lifting, inadequate handholds, and environmental factors. 

Here are some tips from OSHA that address these common factors.

  • Use equipment such as forklifts and duct lifts to lift heavy items
  • Use your legs when lifting objects from a low location
  • Avoid twisting
  • Break down loads into smaller units
  • Rotate tasks, so workers aren’t doing the same activity too long
  • Work in teams
  • Take regular breaks
  • Move materials with inadequate (or no) handholds into containers with good handholds
  • Adjust work schedule to limit exposure to extreme heat or cold temperatures 

Falling Cargo

Loads can shift while in transit, making the simple task of opening a trailer door a potential risk. Improperly secured loads can cause serious injuries and increase your WC costs. 

Here are a few tips to avoid injuries caused by falling cargo:

  • Make sure the load is firmly immobilized or secured on your truck
  • Open one trailer door at a time and stand behind the door as you open it
  • Do not attempt to catch falling cargo 

Training in these four areas and creating a culture where safety is a priority and a work environment where workers feel comfortable reporting injuries will help reduce injuries and lower your workers’ comp insurance costs. 

Save on Workers’ Compensation and Truck Insurance!

To learn additional ways to save on workers compensation and other truck insurance costs, give one of the experienced agents at American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online. As independent agents, we're free to compare the cost of insurance among lots of companies to ensure you get the best price on all your commercial insurance needs! 

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, truck insurance, workers comp costs, Trucking Insurance

5 Factors Impacting Commercial Truck Insurance Cost

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Apr 07, 2019

Truck Insurance Cost Factors in PennsylvaniaTruck drivers face many things they can’t control as they drive from point A to point B delivering their cargo – inclement weather, traffic, road construction, distracted drivers, and the list goes on.

It’s good to know that there is one thing that truck drivers do have some control over, and that is their trucking insurance costs!

Small businesses and owner-operators offering trucking services invest in commercial truck insurance to protect their investment from all those things they can’t control. There are many different types of commercial truck insurance such as trailer interchange insurance, cargo insurance, and more.

The First Step

There are several factors that go into determining your insurance premiums. Each insurance company weighs each of those factors differently. Your first step to controlling your commercial truck insurance premiums is to work with a good insurance agent who specializes in truck insurance, knows what questions to ask, understands your risks, and can compare costs among competing insurance companies in order to keep your costs low.

Here are 5 Factors that Affect the Cost of Your Commercial Truck Insurance, and Ways to Lower Your Premiums:


1- Previous Claims History

If you or your company have a history of high claims rates, there’s a good chance that you’ll make multiple claims in the future. Insurance companies offer lower premiums to companies that have fewer claims.

SOLUTION:
Lower the number of accidents and claims by creating a culture of safety with ongoing safety training and safety programs for your drivers.

2 - Driving Records

Insurance companies will look at the claim history and driving records of all your drivers. If they see drivers with multiple violations or accidents, you will pay higher insurance premiums.

SOLUTION:
Do thorough background checks on anyone you’re considering hiring and provide ongoing safety training for your drivers.

3 – Policy Structure

Chances are you’re going to need more than one policy to protect all of your investments. Purchasing insurance policies from different insurance companies may appear to save you money, but often bundling multiple policies with one company ends up saving you money.

SOLUTION:
Find an independent agency like American Insuring Group who can compare costs with several companies and analyze the results side-by-side to determine the best solution for your needs.

4 - Vehicles

A truck with a higher price tag will also be more expensive to insure. Larger and heavier vehicles may not be as easy to navigate as smaller vehicles, and in an accident are likely to cause more damage, which will also increase your premium payments.

SOLUTION:
Purchase the right vehicle for the job. Don’t buy a larger or more expensive vehicle than what you need.

5 - Driving Locations

Where you drive can affect the probability of having an accident. You’re less likely to have an accident driving along a stretch of country road with little or no traffic than driving a big city street during rush hour. Also, the further you travel, the higher the chance of an accident. The higher risk of an accident, the higher the insurance premiums.

Request an Annual Truck Insurance Review

Keep in mind that there is nothing more constant in life than change, and that applies in the trucking business as well – new drivers, new vehicles, changing claims rates, etc., so it’s vital to schedule an annual review with your insurance agent if you want to ensure that you have the best coverage at the best price.

Ready to Save on Truck Insurance? Call the Experts at American Insuring Group!

Contact us to save on PA Truck InsuranceAmerican Insuring Group specializes in trucking insurance, and we’re independent agents, so we’ll make sure that your commercial vehicle has the best insurance protection at the lowest price (unlike many of our competitors, we’re not locked into one solution).

So, give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online. Start saving today!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance