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High Liability Rates Becoming More Common

High Liability Rates Becoming More Common

High liability rates are increasingly common in the trucking insurance market. A large part of the cost comes from liability coverage. The purpose of liability coverage is to pay out injuries and damage to property after an accident. Therefore, you are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to meet a $750,000 minimum limit.

Liability costs are continuously going up, with no plans of slowing down. In fact, a $1 million liability policy premium can range anywhere between $6,000 and $16,000. Of course, this rate is also dependent on certain factors. High liability rates are becoming more and more problematic for truckers, but what’s the reason for the increase?

Some say that it extends back to the 2008 recession. As the economy rebounded from poor business sales, insurers weren’t so quick. As a result, an excess of premiums followed. However, over the past few years, truck insurers have raised their rates, and do not plan on going backwards.

Furthermore, the economy has begun to pick itself up, thus resulting in more jobs, and higher wages. Additionally, there have been more drivers, and more freight on the road as well.

High liability rates also stem from several factors. This includes, the freight type, age of equipment, length of haul, and states that the freight will transport through.

In the same manner, as liability rates have increased, so have applications for new operating authority. However, obtaining liability coverage has become a challenge. As a result, this has caused many truck insurance companies to institute stricter requirements when it comes to operating.

What do you think the reason is for such high liability rates? Comment below.

Insurance Advice for the Millennial Generation

Insurance Advice for the Millennial Generation

The millennial generation is in that age range where they are now being forced to do very adult things. They may be taking out student loans, buying or renting a place to live, having kids, and of course, buying insurance. For sure these are big life events and they require that young people have a financial security net. And let’s face it, that’s what insurance is.

As important as insurance is, it’s shocking to learn that based on a recent survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, millennials are the most underinsured generation.

Let’s face it, there are a lot of reasons why people from any generation don’t buy insurance. For one, people view it as a huge investment, even though it may not be an expensive one. More often than not, it costs less than you’d anticipate. This notion was illustrated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners who suggest that millennials overestimated the cost of renter’s insurance by more than five times it’s actual cost.

Plus, insurance terminology can be super complicated, and the overall concept can be tough to understand. Not only that but nobody wants to envision being in a car accident or experiencing a break-in or any other type of unexpected negative life events. However, these things do occur and you want to be prepared.

Below are five suggestions for when you do buy insurance:

  1. Search Intelligently – The goal is to land on suitable insurance. Granted, price is a factor but first you want to land on the type of coverage you need first. From there you can work the coverage into a price range you feel good about. Don’t just choose insurance with the lowest price, you’ll regret it when you have an incident.
  2. Search for Discounts – Once you’ve figured out your coverage needs, locate ways to save. Inquire with the agent about possible discounts. Lots of these can be tied up in the concept of bundling.
  3. Don’t leave any holes – A typical policy will just cover the basics. Add extra coverage to insure all of your specific needs are taken care of.
  4. Consider life insurance – When you’re young is the best time to buy because you’re young and healthy. This makes the coverage cheaper.
  5. Discuss with an independent agent – This is vital to choosing the right coverage. This person works with multiple companies so you can guarantee you’re getting the best coverage for the best price. Independent agents tend to be more thorough and help you find the best policy while talking you through all of it.

Just because you’re a millennial doesn’t mean you don’t need insurance. Like anyone, it’s absolutely vital to have this peace of mind in all areas of your life. The above tips will definitely simplify the process and make it seem less daunting.

Truck Insurers Await Changes to CSA Program

Truck Insurers Await Changes to CSA Program

Have you been following recent trucking news? Then you know about the FMCSA’s bold new steps. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA program is about to undergo some big changes.

Still, some experts don’t agree with the changes.


The CSA Program’s Changes


Specifically, the changes are affecting the Compliance, Safety, Accountability, or CSA program. The FMCSA is planning to overhaul the CSA’s Safety Measurement System. This is used to determine which carriers are at a higher risk for being involved in crashes and accidents in the future. The goal is to prevent crashes.


However, many insurers are speaking out against the changes.


Duke Tomei, executive vice president and transportation practice leader at insurance broker USI Insurance Services, said, “CSA is definitely having an impact on premiums and on insurance companies deciding whether even to quote truckers” Tomei hopes that the changes made to criteria regarding maintenance issues within motor carriers “don’t directly tie to being an unsafe motor carrier and will be a better predictive model of an unsafe motor carrier.”


Still, this means that prices are going up. Also, Chris Mikolay, vice president of National Interstate Insurance Co., claims that the severity of claims has increased in the past few years. Furthermore, he claims the environment is more litigious, and that the logistics industry is losing money on truck insurance issues.


Experts are expressing their dislike of the new regulations.


Many experts notice that even just two BASIC alerts on a carrier can increase their insurance fees a high amount.


Many insurers are criticizing the recent changes. Furthermore, they hope the CSA’s new guidelines don’t make things even worse.


Want to offer your opinion? Write it out in the comments section below!

Who is Responsible for Damaged Cargo?

Who is Responsible for Damaged Cargo?


Driving freight as a trucker comes with all kinds of responsibilities. After all, you are the one responsible for transporting and delivering products safely. Unfortunately, all kinds of risks can happen while on the job. It turns out this is just naturally part of the territory. Unfortunately, most truckers have a story about missing cargo, damaged goods, accidents on the road, and other incidents like this. So, if you end up with damaged cargo, what do you do? True, this can be a stressful situation on the job. However, you can be informed ahead of time. Therefore, you’ll be more prepared. Then, you can handle the situation in a calm, informed, and efficient manner. So, keep on reading to learn more about who is responsible for damaged or missing cargo, and what to do in this scenario.


What Counts as Damaged Cargo Anyway?


You may be unsure what counts as damaged cargo. Basically, a client can consider cargo damaged if the buyer receives cargo that’s in worse condition than when the seller dispatched it earlier.


Unfortunately, there are all kinds of reasons why cargo can get damage. Sometimes, wet weather leading to flooding or leaks are to blame. Or, bug and rodent infestations can cause problems on cargo that’s not properly protected. Additionally, accidents or hazardous driving can also potentially damage cargo.


Sadly, sometimes accidents happen and mistakes are made. Still, damaged cargo can cause loss to the client and may even strain important business relationships between trucking services and the companies they serve.


Now, Who is Liable?


It all comes down to proof. If a shipper can prove their goods were in good condition at the time of loading, this means the liability falls on the carrier. However, even if shippers do not provide this proof, carriers may still be held liable unless exclusions are attached.


Regardless, it’s important for carriers and drivers to be outfitted with a good insurance policy. Make sure to do diligent research so you can keep your drivers as protected as possible while on the job. Furthermore, always encourage careful documentation of all goods being loaded.


Do you have further comments on damaged cargo liability? Sound off in the comments below!

Would you pay to use busy highways?

Would you pay to use busy highways?

Traffic congestion will reduce by up to 24 percent in West L.A. and Santa Monica if motorists were charged a $4 to travel freeways and major roadways, a new study show. The study was released Thursday by the Southern California Association of Governments.

This study is the first that targets a specific region of Los Angeles County. Politicians and transportation planners have been discussing potential congestion pricing for several years.

Th project would cut vehicle hours on affected roadways by one-quarter. Vehicle miles would be reduce by more than one-fifth in certain areas of West Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

Vehicles travelling through the “Mobility Go-Zone” during morning and afternoon rush hours would be charged a fee. Discounts will be available to low income drivers. Trips that being in the zone would not be charged a fee.

Metro and SCAG as chose this area because it is one of the most high-volume traffic zones in Southern California. The 10 and 405 freeways are rated sixth and third among the most congested freeways in the nation. Traffic crawls as slow as 5 mph during peak hours.

It is also a major employment hub in the city. Many commuters travel to UCLA, Santa Monica College, St. John’s Hospital, and other major employers.

Metro and SCAG reached the conclusion that southern California cannot accommodate any new freeways. This is a major component in the decision to implement the traffic fee. Authorities say it is no longer feasible to continue building and expanding freeways.

L.A. country could raise $1.2 billion a year from a congestion pricing scheme.

What do you think? Would you be ok paying a fee to use these highways during peak hours, if it meant less traffic?

Is the Truck Driver Shortage Just “Fake News”??

Is the Truck Driver Shortage Just “Fake News”??

The truck driver shortage. Every conversation about trucking in the United States seems to lead back to this topic. But, what’s going on with the shortage? Is the shortage as bad as the media makes it out to be? Although it is considered the top concern in the industry, according to the survey done by the American Transportation Research Institute, it might not be as concerning as we all seem to think it is.

A new report from the U.S. Department of Labor just came out, and it indicates that the panic may be just a result of more fake news. Basically, the report dives into the usual complaints and explanations about the driver shortage. Many believe that the numbers are low due to the market’s dysfunction, the high turnover rates and more. However, this new report may suggest that the stats really only show that the industry is similar to other occupations.

The Stats

As the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report states: “the overall picture is consistent with a market in which labor supply responds to increasing labor demand over time, and a deeper look does not find evidence of a secular shortage.”  

Essentially, like most jobs and industries, those with higher earnings and working hours are found less likely to leave. Basically, BLS summed up with the notion that: “there is not, and has never been, a serious shortage of people willing to work as truck drivers.”

Moreover, there’s been some conflicting data floating around the industry in terms of how to get and keep new drivers. For example, the discussions about recruiting programs and who they target. The most success in the industry, according to some, is actually from other drivers’ referrals.

These drivers tend to understand the expectations of the industry and the company better than brand new drivers with no experience or insight. Although, others say that drivers need better treatment – then they’d be more likely to stick around.

So, what is the answer? What do you think about the truck driver shortage? Is it another case of “fake news”?

The FMCSA’s Top Admin Have No Trucking Experience??

The FMCSA’s Top Admin Have No Trucking Experience??

Lately, there has been a lot of issues surrounding the trucking industry and new rules. And everyone in the trucking world knows that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) makes most of those rules. In fact, the FMCSA regulates and provides safety oversight for commercial motor vehicles.

As their website states, their mission is “to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.” But… has anyone working for FMCSA ever been out trucking on the roads? As recent reports tell us… they haven’t.

In fact, NONE of the top administrators for FMCSA have ever had a commercial drivers license. Essentially – none of them have ever been truck drivers. So, how are they creating rules for an industry they’ve never experienced firsthand?

Interestingly, it’s not uncommon for this to happen. The top positions at federal agencies generally don’t have much experience with the industry or field that they make regulations for. But, why? Even if these administrators have the best intentions, can they ever really know the realities of truck driving without the experience?

Representation

Sometimes, the lack of understanding just causes frustration among workers in the industry. In fact, there have been several protesting groups arising as of late. One of these groups is “Black Smoke Matters.” They feel that they are being misrepresented in the FMSCA and want to be part of the regulation process.

In fact, one of the goals of the group specifically states: “Due to the fact that truck drivers are individuals being regulated for the job that they perform, they should be granted the opportunity to form a committee of truck drivers from all sectors of the trucking industry to act as advisors to the U.S. Congressional oversight committees and the Department of Transportation.”

What do you think about the recent reports? Should drivers in the industry be able to sit on the board of regulators at the FMCSA? How can we create rules and regulations that benefit everyone?

Spot Truckload Rates Decline Regardless of the Industry’s Success!

Spot Truckload Rates Decline Regardless of the Industry’s Success!

For the first time since September of 2017, the national average for spot truckload rates fell below the two dollars per mile mark. Spot truckload rates are market rates for goods traded through immediate delivery.

Last week, despite the industry’s increase in van, flatbed and reefer load-to-truck ratios, prices decreased for the third consecutive week.

One main contributor to the recent spot-rate deterioration is depleted fuel prices. The average on-highway diesel fuel price within the nation is $2.96 per gallon. This was also the average the previous week. You can check out the exact rates here.

Unfortunately, many aren’t predicting that the trends will get any better during the next few months. Not only do the spot market rates indicate decline, but the weather doesn’t help. Winter storms cause the trucking industry to slow down. Thus, trucking operations slow down, and capacity declines. Bad weather also affects receivers, for staff may have trouble getting to work and maintaining schedules. As a result, the shippers progress also slows down. In addition, consumers are also less likely to shop around in bad weather— worsening the market.

So, restricted capacity is good and can substantially increase rates. Although, bad business and company issues can decrease rates. Therefore, the timing of bad weather and storms will determine the influence on future spot truckload rates.

In conclusion, spot truckload rates can be tricky, but keeping an eye on them is necessary. Hopefully, in regard to the trucking industry, the weather doesn’t get bad enough to worsen the spot truckload rates.

Things are Looking Up for Truckers!

Things are Looking Up for Truckers!

As 2019 is just beginning, those of the middle-class can now rejoice! The New Year comes with new regulations for those in the working class who didn’t always get their dues.

Recently established California state laws, revamp many employee’s rights and place new restrictions on businesses.

The California Labor Federation is proud of the advances that have come from 2018. The federation represents over 1,200 unions and plays a huge part in labor politics. The changes established beginning Jan 1st, 2019 is due to their hard work.

So What’s New?

Jerry Brown’s September veto on a measure that would limit businesses’ ability for private settlements, limits the filing of discrimination, sexual harassment and other various complaints. Because costs are increased due to threat of a lawsuit, California employers can’t afford mandatory resolution policies.

Also, as of the New Year, minimum wage has risen to $12 an hour for businesses with over 25 workers.  

Truckers’ also got their piece of the New Year employment resolutions.  Over 25,000 truck drivers route through Los Angeles and Long Beach for shipping to U.S. retailers and producers. But since, 2011 there have been over 1,000 workplace violation complaints against trucking companies.

According to labor groups, these complaints have not received justice. Since Jan 1st, law (Senate Bill 1402) requires that trucking companies who don’t comply with regulation and any manufacturer or retailer who hires them is liable for future violations.

Many oppose the new trucking regulation and claim that it is a step towards unionizing all truckers. Also, that it is over-regulation for a business that relies on freedom. Although, the blow was softened when the bill was amended to allow shippers three months to cancel contracts with trucking firms who are a part of the movement.

So are the changes good? Or is this over-regulation by the government in private matters?  

Is Comp-Only Insurance the Right Car Storage Insurance for You?

Is Comp-Only Insurance the Right Car Storage Insurance for You?

*Read about the changes to the CSA Program here.

Don’t want to take your summery sports car out in the rain? Have any vehicle you want to keep in storage? You may want to check out ways to reduce the cost of insurance! One way to reduce this cost is to remove all coverage aside from comprehensive coverage. This is otherwise known as “comp-only insurance,” seasonal vehicle insurance, or car storage insurance.

Comp-only insurance pays for non-collision damages and equipment. This applies if the vehicle is stolen, hits an animal, or is damaged from vandalizing, fire, or another natural cause. But, it doesn’t cover property damages or injury or medical expenses in the case of an accident. Before you decide if comp-only insurance is the right insurance for you, you might want to think about these factors.

Firstly, some states have specific coverage requirements for vehicles. If you don’t have the correct insurance, you could face a citation or suspended license. Always check on these requirements first!

Next – when do you plan to drive your vehicle again? When you do drive it, you have to make sure to change your coverage. If an incident occurs when you start driving again and you only have comp-only insurance, you could be responsible for huge costs. Make a note of this on your calendar or even in the car itself. Don’t drive until you change your coverage!

Finally, talk to different insurance companies. Some might not give comp-only coverage for more than half a year. You may have to insure another vehicle with full coverage on the same policy. Every company is different and has different policies.

Make sure that you choose the right policy for you and your driving needs!