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Umbrella Vs. Excess Liability and Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 03, 2022

We Offer Quality Umbrella Insurance, Excess Liability Insurance and Truck Insurance for Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, and throughout PA.Most truck owners and fleet managers understand the importance of Truck Insurance to protect their business, employees, vehicles, etc. For example, Primary Liability Insurance (Aka Trucking Liability Insurance) helps cover the cost of injuries to other people or damage to other vehicles in the event of an accident. General Liability Insurance helps protect your business from the cost of lawsuits. Cargo Insurance helps cover the loss or damage to cargo in transit. And the list of truck insurance options goes on.

Every truck and fleet has unique insurance needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to Truck Insurance. That is why working with one of the experienced agents at American Insuring Group is crucial to business success.

Two types of insurance available to truck owners and fleet managers that are often used interchangeably are Umbrella Insurance and Excess Liability Insurance. The two are similar but slightly different. Let’s start with definitions provided by the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI).

IRMI Definitions

Excess Liability Insurance — (1) A policy or bond covering the insured against certain hazards and applying only to loss or damage in excess of a stated amount or specified primary or self-insurance. (2) That portion of the amount insured that exceeds the amount retained by an entity for its own account.

Umbrella Liability Policy — a policy designed to provide protection against catastrophic losses. It generally is written over various primary liability policies, such as the business auto policy (BAP), commercial general liability (CGL) policy, watercraft and aircraft liability policies, and employers liability coverage. The umbrella policy serves three purposes: it provides excess limits when the limits of underlying liability policies are exhausted by the payment of claims; it drops down and picks up where the underlying policy leaves off when the aggregate limit of the underlying policy in question is exhausted by the payment of claims; and it provides protection against some claims not covered by the underlying policies, subject to the assumption by the named insured of a self-insured retention (SIR).

A Comparison of Excess Liability and Umbrella Liability

Those definitions are a good place to start, but let’s dive a little deeper and simplify them simultaneously. Both are designed to provide additional protection on claims. Both are additions to underlying policies designed to protect against particular risks and specific losses and are only triggered when the underlying policy line of insurance has been exhausted.

Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance is an example of an underlying policy. Every CGL policy has a financial limit. For example, if you have a $1 million limit on your policy and get sued for $1.2 million, you (not the insurance company) will be responsible for paying the difference. Either an Excess or Umbrella policy may help cover the difference.

Every policy also has a unique scope of covered risks and specific losses. If a loss occurs outside of those covered risks, insurance will not pay, and the financial responsibility will fall to you. However, an Umbrella Liability policy may provide protection against some claims not covered by the underlying policies. An Excess Insurance policy will not. An Excess Insurance policy is focused on financial limits and does not expand the terms or scope of the underlying policy.

If you are a driver with just one truck or a business with a small fleet, you may think either type of insurance would be a waste of money, but consider this: the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports, “The average cost of a large truck crash involving a fatality is $3.6 million per crash.”

Is Umbrella Liability or Excess Liability Insurance Right for me?

As we said earlier, every business’s insurance needs are unique. The best way to ensure you have the right insurance at the lowest cost is to work with one of the experienced, independent agents at American Insuring Group. We compare policies from multiple insurance companies to ensure you get the right protection at the right price!

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

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance

Brake Safety Week Tips for Fleet Managers and Drivers

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 06, 2022

Follow these truck brake safety tips to help you reduce accidents and save on truck insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Erie, Pittsburgh, Allentown and throughout Pennsylvania.The best way to lower Commercial Truck Insurance costs is to minimize the risk of accidents, including brake failure. A U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study found that the most common vehicle equipment-related cause of truck crashes was brake failure, accounting for 29.4% of all truck crashes in the study. 

Brake failure can result from defects, poor maintenance, or a driver’s actions. For example, overusing brakes can affect brake performance. While not all brake failures are avoidable, many are, which makes a focus on brake safety key to minimizing the risk of accidents.

CVSA Brake Safety Week

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week - August 21-27 – focuses on brake safety. It is “an annual commercial motor vehicle brake-safety inspection, enforcement, and education initiative conducted by law enforcement jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.” 

According to data from last year’s Brake Safety Week, “brake systems and brake adjustment violations accounted for 38.9% of all vehicle out-of-service violations, the most of any category of vehicle violations.” 

The following are two of the goals of Brake Safety Week. Both can help minimize the risk of accidents and help lower Commercial Truck Insurance costs:

  • Encourage proactive vehicle maintenance in advance of the week.
  • Remind drivers and motor carriers about the importance of proper brake maintenance and vehicle pre-trip and post-trip inspections. 

According to CVSA, if you are stopped during Brake Safety Week, inspectors will perform the following checks:

  • Look for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system, non-manufactured holes (such as rust holes and holes created by rubbing or friction), and broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake.
  • Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines, and ensure the air system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi (620-690 kPa).
  • Check for S-cam flip-over and measure pushrod travel.
  • Check that slack adjusters are the same length (from the center of the S-cam to the center of the clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size.
  • Inspect required brake-system warning devices, such as ABS malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices.
  • Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer, and inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.
  • Capture and provide data on brake hose/tubing chafing violations – the focus of this year’s Brake Safety Week.

Brake Safety Tips for Owners/Fleet Managers:

  1. Ensure drivers receive appropriate safety training
  2. Develop a culture of safety
  3. Take time to spec the best brakes for your vehicle and drivers’ needs
  4. Develop inspection checklists
  5. Conduct routine daily, weekly, and monthly inspections
  6. Perform regular maintenance on all vehicles
  7. Customize maintenance to brake type – hydraulic, air, or exhaust.
  8. Properly grease components
  9. Monitor mileage on your brake systems
  10. Replace brake shoes and other parts regularly
  11. Use Telematics Data to detect hard braking, speeding, and other hazardous driving behaviors.

Brake Safety Tips for Drivers:


  1. Perform pre- and post-trip inspections
  2. Watch air pressure levels
  3. Monitor your driving to ensure you are driving at safe speeds and maintaining safe following distances.

Lower Your Commercial Truck Insurance Costs

In addition to ensuring safer vehicles and drivers to minimize the risk of accidents, another way to lower Commercial Truck Insurance costs is to work with one of the experienced independent insurance agents at American Insuring Group.

Not only do we specialize in commercial truck insurance to ensure you have the proper coverage, but as independent agents, we also check with multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premium for reliable coverage.

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

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

30 Truck Driver Safety Tips for Lower Truck Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Jul 20, 2022

Truck-Driver-Safety-Insurance-Savings-30-Tips.jpgThe key to lowering Commercial Truck Insurance costs is to incur fewer claims, and the key to fewer claims is safer drivers. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 4,842 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents last year (a 33% increase since 2011), and 107,000 large trucks were involved in accidents resulting in an injury. 

We understand that sometimes accidents are unavoidable. However, in crashes where a large truck was the leading cause of an accident, 87% were caused by the driver, while 10% were due to the vehicle and 3% to the environment, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) "Large Truck Crash Causation Study."

If you are a driver, it is your responsibility to understand how you can minimize the risk of an accident for your own well-being and the well-being of other people on the road. If you are a fleet manager, it is your responsibility to provide proper training, create and enforce a driver safety policy, and make fleet maintenance a priority for the well-being of your drivers and your business.

 Here are 30 safety tips for truck drivers:

  1. Take care of your health by eating, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
  2. Avoid drugs and alcohol
  3. Wear comfortable clothing
  4. Plan your route based on weather, road conditions, traffic patterns, construction, etc.
  5. Monitor the weather and adjust as needed
  6. Perform a thorough pre-trip inspection
  7. Perform a thorough post-trip inspection and record or report any issues
  8. Adjust the steering wheel, seat, mirrors, etc. to maximize comfort
  9. Know where everything is in your truck's interior
  10. Take regular breaks and move around
  11. Wear your seatbelt – According to the CDC, "Buckling up is both effective and required by federal regulations. But 1 in 6 drivers of large trucks don't use their seat belts (2013). More than 1 in 3 truck drivers who died in crashes in 2012 were not wearing seat belts. Buckling up could have prevented up to 40% of these deaths."
  12. Don't use your cell phone while driving
  13. Stay alert at all times and especially in school and work zones
  14. Be aware of speed limits and stay within those limits (they're there for a reason)
  15. Maintain proper stopping distance
  16. Know when you're tired
  17. Check your mirrors every 8-10 seconds to know when vehicles are entering your blind spot.
  18. Scan ahead to identify traffic issues, work zones, etc.
  19. Make wide turns carefully
  20. Use your turn signals to give other drivers notice of your intent
  21. Stay focused and avoid distractions
  22. Maintain your vehicle
  23. When in work zones, slow down, maintain extra following space, obey signs, scan for changing traffic patterns, and be prepared to stop
  24. Practice defensive driving
  25. Slow down for curves and turns
  26. Don't be afraid to ask for help
  27. Park safely
  28. Stay centered in your lane
  29. Be careful when getting in and out of your truck – never jump from the cab to the ground and use three points of contact
  30. Be careful when handling cargo by ensuring the load is stable, don't handle cargo in poor visibility, use lifting equipment properly, etc.

Save More on Truck Insurance Today!

One of the easiest ways to save on truck insurance is to work with an independent insurance agent who specializes in truck insurance and understands your unique needs, like the agents at American Insuring Group. As independent agents, we compare the cost of your coverage among many insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premiums for quality insurance protection.

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

 

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

5 Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jun 04, 2022

Save on PA Truck Insurance by Avoiding Common Causes of Truck Accidents. We provide insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, and throughout Pennsylvania.If you want to reduce Commercial Truck Insurance costs, lower the number of accidents. It’s simple but not 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 are more serious. For example, in 2019, 5,005 trucks were involved in fatal accidents.

The good news is that many of these accidents are preventable. The first step to preventing accidents is identifying the most common causes of truck accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver error is the cause of 94% of vehicle accidents. Other causes include failure or degradation of the vehicle’s components and the environment (slick roads, weather, etc.).

5 Common Causes of Accidents

Distracted Driver

The CDC reports, “Nine people in the United States are killed every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” A distraction takes attention away from driving and takes your eyes off the road, takes your hand off the wheel, or takes your mind off driving. Unfortunately, drivers can be distracted by many things – changing the radio station, arguing with a passenger, or even reading billboards.

You can’t eliminate all distractions, but you can eliminate the most common cause of driver distraction – electronic devices, specifically cell phones. According to the CDC, “At 55 miles per hour, sending or reading a text is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.”

As an owner or fleet manager, having and enforcing a distracted driving policy is crucial to minimizing the risk of distractions. If you are a driver, turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature on and pull over to a safe place to use your cell phone.

Speeding

We get it… You have tight schedules to keep and face many things (traffic, road construction, etc.) that can mess with those schedules, but driver safety should always come before deadlines. The NSC reports, “Speeding was a factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2020, killing 11,258, or an average of over 30 people per day.” With the additional weight and size of a truck, speeding becomes even more dangerous because it takes trucks longer to stop, and when they do hit something can cause more damage.

Poor Driver Training

As we mentioned earlier, driver error is the cause of 94% of vehicle accidents, but you can minimize that risk by providing ongoing safety training to your drivers. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that implementing a driver safety program will help keep drivers safer and potentially:

  • Decrease the 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

Fatigue

You may be on the road for a while, not get enough sleep at night, or any number of other reasons that can cause fatigue. NHTSA estimates that in 2017, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. These crashes led to an estimated 50,000 people injured and nearly 800 deaths. Whenever possible, avoid this hazard by getting adequate sleep, checking any medication you take to see if any cause drowsiness, and avoiding driving during peak sleepiness periods (midnight to 6 am and late afternoon).

Weather

Weather is unpredictable and can change on a dime. Therefore, drivers must monitor the weather and prepare for potential hazards. If you find yourself on slick roads, slow down, keep more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, keep your turn signals on longer, and turn on your headlights. Here are additional tips for dealing with dangerous weather.

How to Save on Commercial Truck Insurance Costs

Safer drivers mean fewer claims, which translates to lower Truck Insurance costs. Working with one of the independent agents at American Insuring Group also translates to lower Truck Insurance costs. As independent agents, we compare pricing and coverage with multiple insurance companies so you pay the lowest premiums for quality truck insurance protection.

✅  Start saving today by calling us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

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

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,” Layover.com 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, Commercial Vehicle 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: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, 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, Commercial Vehicle 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