For those truck business owners who drive their 18-wheeler vehicles without hauling any equipment i.e. without a trailer or with an empty trailer, bobtail insurance or deadheading insurance is a necessity. Business owners need to know
How Much Does Bobtail Insurance Cost?
Bobtail insurance could cost you around $400 on average annually and commonly covers up to a limit of $1,000,000. Sometimes this limit can be higher, rarely lower, depending on the rates that your insurance company offers you. Once you have figured out that you need bobtail insurance for your trucking business, the next step is to see how you can save on insurance and ensure maximum coverage in case of accidents or damages.
Bobtail Insurance Over Non-Trucking Liability
While the two are easily confused, bobtail insurance covers those damages which are caused when you’re driving your vehicle without cargo. Non-trucking liability only covers you when you are not under dispatch, and are being used for personal reasons. Additionally, non-trucking liability does not cost as much as bobtail insurance, which is also why it has a more narrow coverage.
Generally, most trucking companies require their drivers to be covered under bobtail insurance because it is quite common to drive without any cargo even while under dispatch.
If you have just gotten a new authority for running your trucking business and you own trucks for the same, then it is likely that you will need the following types of liabilities:
Physical damage liability/Basic coverage
We understand that you want to save up on your trucking insurance, especially because the rates are ever increasing. Instead of cutting down on the different coverages, consider some of these options to save more in the long run and you won’t have to overpay for your trucking insurance.
Package Insurance or Individual Liabilities
While buying a single insurance package usually makes more sense than buying different policies from different companies, it all depends on how much the physical damage coverage is worth. Obviously, it costs more to cover a truck model released in 2015 than to cover an older model.
For older trucks, the physical damage liability can cost between $1,500-$2,500, and much more for newer trucks. If you manage to find an insurance package that covers this as well as bobtail liability and other liabilities you need, purchasing a bundle insurance is great. If not, sometimes it makes more sense to buy individual policies piece by piece as you can save upto $500 just by shopping around. So take that extra time and effort to figure out which works best for your needs.
Buy Your Bobtail Insurance Annually
Most insurance companies increase the rate of their policies every year because they know customers find it difficult to switch between companies and would rather stick to what they’re paying. However, you can save by shopping around for your bobtail insurance, if not your entire trucking insurance needs, every year and review how much it will cost you.
With our rates at East Insurance Group you can be assured that your bobtail insurance will come at a reasonable price!
Keeping Your Insurance at Low Costs
Other ways to save on your trucking insurance include considering higher deductibles because that would mean a lower cost on your monthly premium. However, in the case that an accident does occur you might have to shell out hundreds of dollars (or more depending on the damages) that you had initially saved up on with a lower premium.
The best way to maintain low costs is to hire drivers who have a clean driving record. This shows that they are responsible, hence the insurance company has a lower risk in case of accidents.
What most people ignore in not buying bobtail insurance is that it also covers underinsured or uninsured motorist liability. This means that if you have bobtail coverage and your truck was involved in an accident (whilst bobtailing i.e. without a trailer) then it can cover damages caused to the other person if they are not insured or underinsured.
How to Apply
Here is some information you will need before applying for your trucking insurance, including bobtail liability:
Contact information of the owner operator
What type of cargo you will be hauling (not exactly necessary for bobtail liability)
What distance you will be covering enroute for delivery as well as pick up
Criminal history of the driver if applicable
Your credit report
A history of your insurance claims for the last 3 years
After gathering all your information, you will need to get some quotes from insurance companies. Insurance brokers can help you with this or you can just visit East Insurance Group website online. You can then compare quotes from different companies and choose which one suits you best.
Although it is a tedious task to figure out the best rates for your insurance policy, it is worth the effort so you can reap the benefits of insuring your business. A lot can be done to save up on the rates for commercial trucking insurance.
How to Get a Relatively Cheap Truck Insurance Cost
Trucking insurance, by default, is expensive. It is especially expensive for small businesses with one or two trucks. It can also become expensive for big companies if they are careless about their drivers, vehicles and cargo. You can take into account the following checklist of the best practices to ensure maximum savings while purchasing your insurance.
1. Hire Experienced Drivers
It is always better to hire experienced drivers than young people with little experience or sometimes no experience in driving trucks.
2. Verify Your Employees’ Histories
Take some time to go through your drivers’ driving history and past records. Even if they have minor traffic violations or incidents, think twice before hiring them. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has recommended a Pre-employment Screening Programme or PSP which indicates the drivers’ future performance based on past records.
3. Invest in Newer Trucks
Although they can be expensive, investing in newer models of trucks can help your business be efficient in terms of fuel usage, safety and in pollution control. These are factors which matter to your insurance company so that they take lesser risks in covering for your damages should they occur. Sometimes, lesser risks for the insurance company may mean lower premiums for you.
4. Keep Track of Your CSA Scores
CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores are performance markers used by the FMSCA to identify motor carriers and drivers at high risk. If your CSA score is high then you also incur a higher risk. Working towards lowering your CSA scores by employing safer driving practises as well as experienced drivers greatly reduces your risk profile. If scores are found to be high, not only will your driving practises be intervened but it also indirectly increases your insurance rates.
5. Monitor Your Credit Reports
Make sure your credit scores are good. If you have a record of late payments when you apply for trucking insurance, companies will consider yours at high risk and therefore increase your premiums too.
6. Pay Full Premium Amount in Advance
If you can afford to then pay your entire premium amount upfront and in advance. This means you will write a single check to your insurance company for the entire amount you owe annually. On the whole, you will be saving upto 10% or even 20% by not paying monthly.
7. Higher Deductibles
If you want to pay lesser premium amounts every month, you can maintain clean driving records from your drivers and you usually do the best you can to ensure no damages occur during shipments, then this one is for you. You can opt for higher deductibles on your insurance policy that lowers the premium amount. However, it means that in the even of an accident, you may have to shell out more money for the damages than otherwise.
8. Ask for Discounts
Well established insurance companies generally offer discounts for safe driving records, older customers and new customers to make their policies attractive. Simply ask your agent which ones you qualify for and see how much you can lower your rates.
9. Look out for New Insurance
While big insurance companies offer discounts to older customers, they also silently raise their rates at the end of each year. Successful trucking owners switch their insurance providers periodically and keep themselves updated about the latest policies and rates.
The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 places a number of requirements on interstate trucking companies and carriers, to prove that they are fiscally responsible. The law requires the motor company to pay any damages up to a statutory minimum if they cause any kind of damage to a public property, in case they don’t have the liquidity to pay for any resulting damages. At East Insurance Group, we provide you with all the information you need regarding an MCS-90 endorsement.
Quite a few times, the MCS-90 is mistaken for an insurance policy, when that is not entirely true. What an MCS-90 is, actually is the proof that you have insurance in case you are at fault in case of an accident. We, at East Insurance Group, have agents that will help you find answers to any queries in case you need more clarification.
Do You Need an MCS-90 Endorsement?
If you are someone who has just ventured into the trucking business and also transport hazardous materials, the answer is yes, you do, especially if you are registered as an intrastate or interstate trucking company. But in case you are self-insured, you do not need to complete the form. Though, in case of an accident, you will still need to prove that you can pay the damages — if you are at fault — in an accident and in case you are self-insured.
Once the claims have been paid up by the insurance company, they are then clear to get a reimbursement from the insured. So effectively, what an MCS-90 does is compelling the insurer to pay a premium, because, in case of a lawsuit, the alternative route (such as defending the insured) could be much more costly. While working with East Insurance Group, you can be sure of securing the proper documentation for producing an accurate MCS-90.
What Do You Mean by an Accurate MCS-90?
It is very vital that you have an accurate MCS-90 if you are a trucking company. This information is a way of telling the government that in case your vehicle is in an accident, any damages caused to the public property are paid by your insurer. The East Insurance Group will make sure that all proper documentation is secured for you, and you have all the right forms that are required to produce an accurate MCS-90.
In case your documents are inaccurate or are lacking or if it is expired, you may find yourself facing action or fines from the Department of Transport. You should absolutely avoid this hassle if you want to don’t want to lose a great deal of money and time.
When Does MCS-90 Come into Play?
In case of an accident, the injured plaintiff does not have any other source of recovery.
In case of an accident, the judgment is against the operator for operating a motor vehicle negligently.
The insurance policy has provided no coverage against the accident.
The plaintiff is somebody who has suffered any property damage or bodily harm.
The plaintiff has a claim for any type of environmental restoration.
Financial responsibilities are imposed on motor carries by the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 who are operating under a federal permit and carriers who are operating under the state authority. The financial responsibility (minimum requirement) is decided, depending upon the type of cargo:
Type of Cargo
Hazardous substances that have capacities in excess of 3,5000 gallons (portable tanks)
Hazardous materials, substances, oil
Should I Be Worried about MCS-90?
If you are an insured motor carrier, you will want to familiarize yourself with MCS-90’s unique features. This is because the sole reason for its creation was to fulfill a law with a public policy surety. This is an assurance to the injured plaintiff that regardless of the liquidity of the motor operator, they (the injured plaintiff ) will receive a minimum amount of recovery at least.
Even if a policy excludes coverage for an accident, the company that is issued the MCS-90, will be obligated to pay a claim. This is because instead of a specific vehicle, the MCS-90 attaches to the motor carrier.
Also, the MCS-90 allows the insurer to ask for a refund from the insured for any amount the insurer is required to pay because of the endorsement, which the insurer otherwise would not have to pay under the policy.
As a trucking company, you should always keep your policies and covered vehicles up to date, and this is where the East Insurance Group will be very useful for your business. With our team of dedicated, reliable agents, we strive to keep your business safe and keep your documents updated. We will always go that extra mile for you and ensure that the job is done to your satisfaction and that you always get a better price than everyone else.
Secure your home and save moneyYour home is your castle. Just like in the middle ages you need security to protect your home from invaders. However unlike the middle ages your not protected by drawbridges and moats. Instead your line of defense are security systems. Without a good system your home us vulnerable.
In 2014, there were an estimated 8,277,829 property crime offenses in the nation. The 2-year trend showed that property crime offenses declined 4.3 percent in 2014 when compared with the 2013 estimate. The 10-year trend showed that property crime offenses decreased 18.6 percent in 2014 when compared with the 2005 estimate.
In 2014, the rate of property crime was estimated at 2,596.1 per 100,000 inhabitants, a 5.0 percent decrease when compared with the 2013 estimated rate. The 2014 property crime rate was 11.9 percent less than the 2010 estimate and 24.3 percent less than the 2005 estimate.
Larceny-theft accounted for 70.8 percent of all property crimes in 2014. Burglary accounted for 20.9 percent, and motor vehicle theft for 8.3 percent.
Property crimes in 2014 resulted in losses estimated at $14.3 billion.
Insurance companies don’t want to see your home robbed. Not because they’re looking out for you (although your agent might) because they want to avoid paying for damages. When you get proper security systems they feel more comfortable that nothing will happen and will reduce your homeowners rate significantly. That means there’s less chance you’ll file a claim with your insurance company. As a result, your insurance company saves money and they pass that savings on to you. A company like SimpliSafe can help you out.
And don’t just do it for the insurance credits, getting a proper security system will protect your family and keep them safe. There is nothing scarier than a home invasion and if your security system can prevent that, isn’t it worth it? The best way to deal with a burglary or fire is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Often, homeowner’s insurance is rolled into your mortgage. Because you’re not writing a check for it every month, you might not know what it’s costing you or how much you might save by getting a monitored home security system.
If you get a security system, make sure to contact a company like agent right away, they’ll help you get the discount you deserve.