Truck Insurance

Truck Insurance

Determining your Amazon commercial insurance costs in Texas

Business Insurance, Truck Insurance
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Lately, I’ve received a number of calls from budding entrepreneurs across the nation.  Everyone wants to know, how much does it cost to carry insurance for Amazon and Amazon Prime Delivery drivers.  Since I’m getting so many phone calls, I thought it would be a good idea to put post this article.  Before I dive into that, here are few basic disclaimers.

  1. I am an insurance agent licensed to appointed to write insurance in the State of Texas.  If you’re inquiring about other states, find an agent there.
  2. The following information is based on general information and actual clients.  Your could differ a little; your rates could vary tremendously from ones on this article.
  3. Everything is subject to approval by the perspective insurance company.
  4. Questions about Amazon contracting and bidding should be directed to Amazon.  I am in no way affiliated with Amazon, Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Now, Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin or anything else in that family.

Now for the stuff you’ve been wondering about.  First thing’s first, if you haven’t seen my other video, you need to know their basic requirements.  You can find them at this link here.  If you don’t feel like going there, I’ve taken the liberty to post below.

Part 1:  Train Your Drivers

Amazon wants you to have some type of “written training program that includes safety policies, procedures, and training for your drivers.”  If you’re looking to grow your fleet, this is key in avoiding unnecessary claims.  The last thing you want to do is have drivers causing damage, having motor vehicle accidents, accidents and injuries.  Lots of claims makes your insurance difficult to obtain and afford.  If you can’t keep the insurance you can stay in business.  If you’re a start up, you may be able to get away with not completing this step.  The moment, you get another driver, the game changes.  So you owe it to yourself to put this in place.

Part 2:  Meet The Insurance Requirements

To meet the insurance requirements, understand the following first:

The most common complain I hear is that Amazon doesn’t help guide you through their process.  They ask for insurance first and then they’ll talk to you.  That’s because, they don’t have time to hold your hand in the process.  They’re Amazon!  So the most successful companies have delivered or  currently delivery for other companies.  New ventures beware!  Here’s a tip:  If you can sign up with other companies as well, you probably stand a better chance because you know the ins and outs of being a courier or delivery driver in Texas.

Now the insurance requirements.

  • Commercial General Liability: $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate
  • Business or Commercial Auto Liability:  $1,000,000 combined single limit
  • Cargo Liability: $25,000 per occurrence
  • Workers’ Compensation:  $1,000,000

Part 3:  Vehicle Recommendations

As posted on their logistics site, Amazon wants you to have a cargo van of at least 200 cubic feet of volume.  Keep in mind that in your business auto costs, you should consider physical damage, uninsured motorists coverage, and even towing or rental if your vehicle qualifies for it.  The last thing you’ll want to do is get a policy, have an accident, and not have the money to replace or repair the vehicle after an accident.  This means you’re no longer in business.  We both know that Amazon will find the next person to take your spot if your company cannot fulfill its obligation.

Rate Observations

That’s a loaded question.  Since it depends on so many factors, I’ll try to give you an idea of extremes in North Texas.   The best  bet is to call me if you live in Texas and you have the necessary information.

Scenario 1:  The Solo Delivery Driver

“Delivery/ Courier Service”

Time in Business: New Venture

Estimated Driver Age 33-40  years

Vehicle Type: Cargo Van – Value $36000

Cargo Liability Limit:  $25,000

Estimated Payroll:  $58,000  There are minimum payroll numbers you cannot go below

Radius: 50-100 miles

In this scenario I’ve seen the following rates:

Commercial Auto & Cargo Liability

$300-$700 per month

General Liability

$700 to $1100 per year.

Workers Compensation

$2700 to $5000 per year.

Scenario 2:  Truck Driver that does other Delivery

“Light and Local Trucking”

Time in Business:  3 Years

Estimated Driver Age 35-40  years

Vehicle Type: Straight Truck or Box Truck – Value $50000

Cargo Liability Limit: $100,000

Estimated Payroll:  $40,000 per person

Radius: up to 500 miles (could vary the rates)

In this scenario I’ve seen the following rates:

Commercial Auto & Cargo Liability

$600 – $1000 per month

General Liability

$900 to $1500 per year

Workers Compensation

$7000 to $9000 per year per driver based on payroll audit

Scenario 3:  Trucking Company with Interstate Commerce

“Trucking Company delivering between logistics centers possibly carrying loads across state lines”

Time in Business:  4 Years

Estimated Driver Age 35-40  years or older

Vehicle Type: Truck Tractors with Dry Van Trailers

Cargo Liability Limit:  $100,000

Estimated Payroll:  $40,000 per person

Radius: up to 500 miles (could vary the rates)

In this scenario I’ve seen the following rates:

Commercial Auto & Cargo Liability

$600 – $1000 per month

General Liability

$900 to $1500 per year based on the number of truck and payroll

Workers Compensation

$7000 to  $9000 per year per driver

Business Auto Rating Considerations

For the delivery business, this is the foundation of your plan.  As a result, leasing a vehicle and using the lease company’s insurance will not work.  The companies you contract with want to see that your business has its own commercial auto policy in case you’re stopped or have an accident.  Regarding pricing, a number of factors go into premium calculations.  For the business auto is the most complicated of all the other requirements.  The owner’s insurance score, address, radius, age, and driving record affect business auto insurance rates.  Other considerations that affect the auto rates include the vehicle ages, type, size, operating radius,  value, and whether the owner or driver decides to carry coverages like physical damage (including comprehensive and collision), uninsured motorists, personal injury protection (PIP), towing, rental etc.  While Amazon only requires you to carry $25,000 cargo legal liability, some delivery drivers carry higher limits as they may delivery for multiple companies that have different requirements.

General Liability Coverage and Rating Considerations

More than likely, the general liability coverage is going to be based on either your estimated gross revenue or your estimated payroll.  For that reason, I ask both.  Generally, the rate has returned somewhere in the $1000 range per driver.  As I previously stated, it’s important to have the auto liability in place.  Otherwise, your policy stands the chance of being rejected by the underwriting department.  Personal auto insurance does not count.  Neither Amazon, nor the general liability company will accept it.

Workers’ Compensation Rating Considerations

To get this quote, you will need to provide a social security number or a federal employer identification number.  There are no exceptions to this requirement with any company.  Your rates will be based on the type of business you operate as well as your total payroll exposure.  Also, if you’re to office person or the boss, you can include yourself in the workers comp rate as well.  If you’re the only person, insurance companies dislike rates for one driver with that person excluded as the owner.  They call those ghost policies, and they’re frowned upon.  So, for single person risks, you’ll end up paying for it regardless.  If have employees, officers have the ability to exclude themselves.  However, you have to specify whether you want to exclude officers or owners from coverage.  That’s up to you.  In Texas, you may opt out by filing as a non-subscriber to workers comp.  I don’t know if Amazon will accept the non-subscriber form.   Keep in mind that regardless of whether your drivers are 1099 or W2 employees, you’re responsible as the employer if they’re injured on the job.  So consider carefully before you opt out of workers’ compensation for any business type.

Customize the quote for your company

Ultimately, these numbers are only as good as the information submitted.  As with all insurance policies, rates must be approved by insurance companies before they are finalized.  I hope this helps demystify the Amazon insurance process a little.  As you already know, the company will not talk to you until you show that you have met their minimum requirements.  If this helps, give it a share, thumbs up, or +1 on your favorite social media..   If you’re in Texas and need a quote, feel free to contact me for quotes.  I would love to help you grow your business.

 

How to obtain retirement and health benefits for truckers

Tags: Health Insurance, Truck Insurance

If you’re like most trucking and transportation company owners, how do you compete with the big guys?  Let’s face it, the longer you keep your drivers, the better your company runs.  Studies show that over 80% of drivers leave their carriers primarily due to benefits or the lack thereof.  As a small fleet owner, what can you do to provide big company benefits with a small company budget?

We have found a few insurance related solutions that can help you attract and retain your drivers without breaking your bank.  The key to solving your health and retirement benefit problems lies in your buying power.  Larger companies can afford to administer their benefits because of their sheer size. Would the following products help your company?

  • Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Insurance
  • Hospitalization
  • Disability Insurance
  • Accident Insurance
  • Cancer Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Prescription Benefits
  • Urgent Care
  • Telemedicine
  • And more…

Getting health coverage is Simpler than you could imagine

With your personal benefits coordinator, we can help you tailor plans for each of your drivers.  We can help your company devise ways to help your drivers meet the requirements of the affordable care act and its tax implications.  You have the choice of funding a benefit bank, health marketplace SHOP, individual major medical, minimum essential coverage.  The best part is that each driver can tailor their own coverage.

We’ve partnered with the Independent Truckers Group to help provide you with these and other coverages to help you with your employees and independent owner-operators.  Contact us at 214-714-4326 to schedule a meeting with a licensed insurance benefits account manager.

Insurance requirements for Amazon Delivery Drivers

Tags: , Business Insurance, Truck Insurance
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Drivers that are looking to get started delivering for Amazon Prime have to meet their requirements.  In checking their website, Amazon requires that all delivery companies meet the following basic requirements:

Driver Training

As a company owner or owner-operator, you and your company are required to have a written safety program that includes your policies, procedures, and training for your drivers.

Vehicle Recommendations

While I have noticed that Amazon has small vehicles delivering for them, their site suggests vehicles with at least 200 cubic feet of volume.  With those types of measurements, you could be looking at something along the size of a cargo van or larger.  The size of the vehicle could lead to other considerations regarding state and federal regulations.

Need Business Insurance?
Call 214-717-4326

Insurance Requirements

As far as insurance requirements, Amazon’s requirements are very similar to a number of logistic companies.  Amazon’s basic insurance requirements include the following:

  1. Commercial General Liability of $1,000,000 per occurrence / $2,000,000 aggregate
  2. Workers Compensation – $1,000,000 limit
  3. Business or Commercial Auto Liability – $1,000,000 combined single limit
  4. Cargo Liability $25,000 (or higher, may need reefer coverage for Amazon Fresh)

Keep in mind that these are Amazon’s national delivery requirements.  Requirements could differ in the state of Texas.  It is possible that Amazon may allow workers compensation waivers for  individual owner operators.   As an insurance agent, I suggest carefully considering waiving workers compensation especially if you have plans to grow your business in Texas.   Waiving their requirements does no waive your liability under the law in case a driver is injured in the course of delivering packages.  Who’s responsible for gaps in coverages?

As a business owner, you are responsible for any driver injured on the site.  Amazon’s requirements only account for their liability exposure.  Since business owners are probably classified as a independent contractors, you should probably consider the following coverages:

  • Physical Damage Liability
  • Health and Supplemental Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement

Physical damage liability can be added to most commercial auto policies for vehicles under 54,000 lb gvw.  For health, life, and retirement benefits, consider discussing these benefits unless you think you can work as a delivery driver forever.  We are fortunate enough to have plans that address the coverage needs of today’s delivery and transportation companies.  These plans start around $75 to $100 per week.

Aside from insurance coverage considerations, I previously mentioned the possibility of state and federal regulatory needs.  If your vehicle ultimately is required to get a USDOT number and MC number or TXDMV number  (formerly TXDOT number), then you may fall under federal motor carrier regulation.  I contacted Amazon and will update this blog post if they change their insurance or other regulatory requirements.

 

Why safety records affect your Texas truck insurance rates

Tags: , , , , , , , , Truck Insurance
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Because of this website (a maybe the fact that I’m a trucking insurance nerd), I often receive phone calls from professional truck drivers all the time!  Just like you, most drivers are very nice people that want to make an honest living.  Just like you, most drivers want the best possible rates on their trucking insurance.  Lately, it has become more difficult to find lower rates for truck drivers.  In fact, some cases are so difficult, that I have to turn drivers away for safety reasons.  Did you know that your DOT records could affect your insurance rates?  Here are a few things you may not have considered when it comes to your insurance policy.

What is SAFER?

To understand your safety record, you need to know that each time you have a DOT inspection; the government documents the results in an online database.   If you own a truck and have never been to this website, you owe it to yourself to take a moment to get familiar with SAFER.  If you are unable to visit SAFER, take it from me.  The following information SAFER INFORMATION can (AND WILL) haunt you when you are shopping for insurance:

  • Trucking Liability Insurance Policy Information – Your insurance policy information follows your motor carrier number.  In other words, the government documents whether you keep your insurance policy current along with the amount of coverage you carry.
  • Cargo Liability – Along with your trucking liability, the government also provides your cargo liability for freight brokers and (more importantly) the public to review.
  • Inspection Results – Each time the DOT inspects your truck, the government documents any violations on your SAFER record.
  • Out of Service Violations – All inspection violations that result in an out of service violation are documented.

Why does this matter?

The federal motor carrier safety administration’s goal is to make sure the roadways are safe for all drivers.  As a result, all commercial vehicles must follow strict safety guidelines.  Quite often, the government will monitor habitual safety violators and revoke operating authorities.   How many times have you heard of a bus operator being shut down due to their safety records?  Unbelievably, this happens to truckers too.

What is the insurance company’s role?

Like most businesses, insurance companies want to make a profit.  As a result, they check your safety records too.  Consider this, an insurance company (or agent) that writes a $1,000,000 liability for a company with a poor record becomes liable for any claims that company causes.  Simply put, the insurance company has more at risk.  Essentially, each time you put a truck on the road, the insurance writes a $1,000,000 check in hopes of not having to cash that check.  The next time you look at your insurance card, look at it as a $1,000,000 check.  If that doesn’t make sense, here’s an example.

Imagine this, a driver that you know fails to perform a pre-trip inspection.  As result, that driver ignores a worn tire that has visible wear.  While driving through an area with a steep grade, the driver blows a set of tires on one side of his trailer causing the load to shift.  Unable to control the unstable load on a steep grade, that truck plows into a car full of people.  Who gets the blame for this accident?  While the driver gets upset because his driving record is affected.  The injuries and property damage cause the family much more grief.  The insurance company becomes liable for the driver’s claim.  Ultimately, the family’s attorney sues the insurance company for the driver’s $1,000,000 policy limits.

While the previous scenario sounds like it could never happen to you, this happens quite frequently.  To mitigate these types of claims, insurance companies now ask agents to check a motor carrier’s safer record prior to quoting and binding a truck insurance policy.  In fact, many companies have changed their underwriting requirements for drivers looking for insurance.  For drivers with more than 2 out of service violations over a 24-month period, finding insurance will become more difficult and expensive.

What’s you role?

I tell every truck driver that trucking is a team sport.  Just because you are an owner operator does not mean you need to do things by yourself.  Like most trucking companies, you probably have an insurance person, a freigh broker (or two), a factoring company, and probably a tax consultant.  Why shouldn’t you have a maintenance person.  You owe it to yourself to make sure that you have a maintenance program in place.  Regardless of whether you are an owner-operator with one truck, or whether you own a small fleet of 5 to 10 trucks, your safety records follow you and  your company.

Utilize every tool you have available.  Inspect your vehicle before every trip.  Avoid letting something as little as a tire with low pressure affect your truck insurance rates and your ability to run a profitable and successful business.  If you have questions, please connect with me and ask any questions.  I love feedback and questions from drivers like you.

Declaration of Emergency affects Truckers Hours of Service Rules

Tags: , , Truck Insurance
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The states included are Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The purpose of the rule suspension declaration is to provide immediate  direct assistance to the companies helping in the emergency relief efforts.  The rule suspension only applies while drivers are under dispatch.  Once cargo has been dropped at its destination, regular rules apply.  The waiver of the Hours of Service rule lasts until Midnight November 13, 2012.

"The emergency exemption is issued as a result of extreme weather conditions, shortages, and interruptions in the availability and/or delivery and repair of services and property throughout the States affected in the Eastern Region to include the following: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. It is effective beginning October 29, 2012.  For more information visit, the FMCSA website.

Source:  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

 

Personal auto or commercial auto insurance, what is the right policy

Tags: , , , , , , , Auto Insurance, Business Insurance, commercial auto, Truck Insurance

Personal auto or commercial auto? That's the insurance question.

As a business person, if you drive your car to appointments or write off the mileage for taxes, you could be carrying the wrong insurance policy.  If you're like most people, you probably grabbed your insurance cards and tossed the remaining documents in a drawer or file until renewal.  

 Like most small businesses an individual families, you probably have never read your auto insurance policy.   What about your business?  Are you properly covered properly covered?  Regardless of your profession, odds are that if you use your car for a tax write off, then you may want to get a commercial auto policy for your business.

…But my agent told me My personal policy was rated for business use

Unfortunately, I'm going to prove your agent wrong.  If you use your vehicle for business use every day, you need a commercial auto policy.  

Even if your agent told you your policy was rated for business use, most personal auto policy only use that terminology to determine your rate.  In the old days of auto insurance before insurance credit scoring, your usage was broken down into the following mileage categories: 

N -Pleasure Usage or   Commuting less than 4 miles a day or under 20 mils per week
L – Low Commute,  commuting 21- 100 miles per week
M- Medium commute, commuting 101 – 200 miles per week
B -Business use, or commuting 201 or more miles per week.
F- Farm use, for vehicles primarily kept on andy farm

This is important to understand because, even though you have the business usage box checked and you're rated that way, you could have a large week spot in your insurance protection.  More importantly, do you want to be in a position of putting your personal and pofessional assets and reputation in place?

What does this mean to me?  First, grab your auto insurance policy and read the definitions first.

The definitions section of a policy is where the insurance describes words specific to the policy.  Here, you find out what a company means when they say, "coverd auto" or "exclusions".  In many cases where the definitions create exclusions that could potentially cause gaps in coverage.  

The following is an example from a personal auto policy under the definition of  "covered auto":

  1. Any vehicle shown in the declarations
  2. a.  Any newly acquired vehicle, whether operational or not, on the date you become the owner, subject to conditions.

Skip down a few lines in is section, and the definition of a covered auto states the following:

"is not used for delivery or transportation of goods and materials unless such use is:
incidental to your business of installing, maintaining or repairing furnishings or equipment; or for farming or ranching."

With this personal auto policy, even if the policy is rated for business use, it only covers incidental business use.   As a result, the definition covered auto creates an exclusion for lots of occupations like realtors, lawyers, salesmen, trade contractors like plumbers and electricians.  All because of one word, "Incidental".

Dictionary definition of "incidental".
In`cin*den"tal, a. Happening, as an occasional event, without regularity; coming without design; casual; accidental; hence, not of prime concern ; 

Did you get that one?  What does your auto policy say?  Does your insurance policy have a word like this? 

In this case,  if you use your car or pickup every day, you may consider a commercial auto policy.  Now for the person that works in a call center that sells scented candles on the weekend, you may be able to get by with incidental business use.  If you're a full time realtor, lawyer, consultant or counselor, plumber, electrician and especially a delivery driver, then you probably need a commercial auto policy.

I think you get my point.  Instead of a personal insurance policy, you need a commercial auto policy.

The first step is or remain calm and contact an insurance agent that understands personal and commercial insurance clients.  Unfortunately, your call center agent will probably fall short .  So, an experienced independent agent is probably your best bet.

So , if you no longer fit into the incidental category, grab you policy and insurance declarations pages and call an independent insurance agent.  That way, you and your business  can get increased insurance coverage with broader protection, and usually at comparable prices.  Besides, your tax advisor may find another write off as well.  Who knows?

When was the last time you read your auto policy?  We haven't gotten to the exclusions yet.  What are your thoughts?  I'd love to hear from you.

USDOT Safety Sweep Closes 26 Bus Operations

Tags: , , , Business Insurance, Truck Insurance

On May 31, 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down 26 bus operations and declared them “imminent hazards to public safety.”  Acording to the government press release,  this unprecedented sweep led to FMCSA ordering 10 individual bus company owners, managers, and employees to “cease all passenger operations.”

The companies listed in the government investigations were Apex Bus, Inc. I-95 Coach, Inc, and New Century Travel, Inc.  Theses companies oversaw a larger network of 9 bus companies along and one ticket operator.  In the latest safety sweep, the adminstration also shut down an additional 13 companies that had alread been ordered out of service; but continued to operate.  These companies in the sweep operated out of Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.  According to department spokespersons, investigators found multiple safety violations including:

  • Failure to have drug and alcohol testing programs in place
  • Failure to regularly inspect and maintain commercial vehicles
  • Using drivers without commercial drivers licenses
  • Hours-of-Service Violations

The administration also states they are taking further action to ensure these motorcoach and bus operators do not reincarnate under new names.  In April 2012, a new rule broadened the administration’s authority and linked operating companies to other companies that were previously placed out of service due to safety violations.  As a result, the newly published  rules make it more difficult for repeat offenders to continue operations through affiliate companies in the future.

Due large to increasing numbers of motorcoach accidents, the department of transportation has remained committed to their  Motorcoach Safety Action Plan.  Over the past 6 years, the DOT double the number of annual safety inspections from of bus companies from 12,000 in 2005 to approximately 29,000 inspections in 2001.  In 2012, the administration also launched to the SaferBus Mobile App so travelers can review a carrier’s safety records beford purchasing tickets or booking group (or family) travel by bus.  Potential travelers can find the app in Apple’s iTunes store or the Android Market.

For further details regarding the original press release, or visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admininstration’s website at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/.

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Hours of Service Rule may affect Texas Truck Drivers

Tags: , Truck Insurance
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The American Trucking Association petitioned the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia asking the court to review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rule that changes  the hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.

This is quite a substantial change for Texas Truck Drivers.  According to the FMCSA, changes include limitations on the minimum 34 hour restarts, required rest breaks for each 8 hour period worked, along with changes to the definitions to on-duty time.

The new rules are effective February 27, 2012, and the compliance date of a few of the provisions is July 1, 2013.  Visit the FMCSA’s Hours of Service Final Rule here. The Department of Transportation announced the HOS changes last December as a way to help prevent fatigue-related truck crashes.

The American Trucking Association believes that  rules that have been in place since 2004 have contributed to improved highway safety improvments.  The ATA released the following statement on their website:

“We regret that the FMCSA and the Obama administration have put ATA and its member companies in a position to take this legal action…safety initiatives that will have a far greater impact on highway safety.”  Although the ATA is taking legal action, they openly  support FMCSA’s move toward mandated electronic on-board recorders to ensure greater compliance.

With the new rules, drivers  will have to take at least 2 nights rest from 1:00 am to 5:00am.  This is part of the “34-hour restart” provision.  Texas Trucking companies that allow drivers to exceed the 11-hour driving limit by three or more hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense.

Commercial truck drivers and companies must comply with the new HOS requirements by July 1, 2013. The regulation is available on FMCSA’s website here.

What are bobtail insurance and non-trucking liability?

Tags: , , Truck Insurance

Bobtail insurance is an insurance policy that provides non-trucking liability for large commercial vehicles.  You may have heard that while your truck is on permanent lease to a motor carrier, your insurance problems are solved.   However, most fleet policies only cover scheduled vehicles while they are under dispatch.  As an owner operator, what does that mean to you?   Here are a few insurance considerations you should consider when leasing your truck to a motor-carrier.

How often is your truck under dispatch?

Generally, when your truck is under dispatch, your motor carrier’s fleet policy covers your truck for liability and physical damage as described by the lease company’s insurance policy.  However, once your truck is no longer under dispatch, you no longer have coverage.  Your  fleet policy’s coverage ends at that point; causing  a gap in coverage for your truck.  From that point, you need to have bobtail insurance (or non-trucking liability) on your truck to fill in your gap in coverage.

Non-Truck Liability for Maintenance

Are you required to maintain your truck?  Did you know that even though your motor carrier has purchased coverage, their liability on provides protection when a truck is being operated for business.  Not only does your truck need liability, but you also need physical damage coverage to cover your truck against an accident.  Consider this, if your truck has to go to the shop for repairs and your driver has an accident on the way to the shop. Who covers your truck during this claim?  In this case, if your fleet policy doesn’t cover your truck, your bobtail non-trucking liability should cover your rig.  Again, in a case like this you and your company should carry non-trucking liability.

Consider Texas State Law

Since we’ve established that your fleet insurance policy probably does not cover you while you’re bobtailing, consider state law.   Consider this.  If you simply drive your truck to a truck wash during, you have to carry at least the minimum liability requirements for the state of Texas.  While this is a very small amount for such a large vehicle, non-trucking liability (or bobtail insurance) satisfies  Texas minimum auto liability requirements.

New Fed rule bans hand-held cellphone usage for Trucker Drivers

Tags: , , Business Insurance, Truck Insurance
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Until recently, distracted driving only affected the safety of  you and your surroundings.  Professional drivers now have a monetary reason forego that cell phone call until their next rest stop.  Distracted driving can now cost CDL drivers’ money in fines and possibly the ability to earn a living as a Truck driver. On November 23, 2011, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a final rule specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating their vehicles.

[message type=”info”]If you’re looking for some of America’s safest drivers, it’s easy to find them behind the wheel
of our nation’s large trucks and buses. Safe driving is their livelihood, and I know that most
of them take safety as seriously as we do at DOT.   Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Website[/message]

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation press release, “Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses.”  Additionally states will now suspend licenses of drivers of with two or more major violations while operating a commercial vehicle.

New rules also affect companies as well.  Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000.

Although results are mixed, data from FMCSA studies show that nearly 5474 people died and half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2009.

While studies yield mixed results, distraction-related fatalities represented 16 percent of overall traffic fatalities in 2009, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research.

In order to promote the administration’s latest efforts against distracted driving, the FMCSA and Department of Transportation launched DISTRACTION.GOV.

What are your thoughts regarding this new rule?

via fastlane.dot.gov