Technology in the Trucking Industry

Impacts of Improving Safety in the Trucking Industry and how it impacts Insurance 

With the prevalence of online shopping, the Trucking Industry is booming like never before. The need for more truckers is ever present throughout the industry. The demands of the industry are forcing drivers to be behind the wheel for more days and more hours then ever. With this demand comes an immense amount of risk. These risks can lead to more insurance claims throughout the industry which can lead to rising insurance premiums. Fortunately, this rise in demand for truckers is coinciding with amazing advancements in technology throughout the Trucking Industry. These advancements, in many ways, is leading to a safer experience for drivers. Here are five ways technology is impacting the Trucking Industry and three ways technology is impacting insurance for trucking businesses.

Trucking Industry provides a service many people in the US benefit from.

How is Technology impacting the Trucking Industry?

  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Driver monitoring
  • Traffic Coordination
  • Recruiting
  • Comforting Drivers

Fuel Efficiency in the Trucking Industry

One major cost for everyone involved in the Trucking Industry is the cost of fuel. Unfortunately, fuel prices fluctuate from year to year. This makes it extremely difficult for businesses to predict what costs will be for their business. Because of this disparity in prices for fuel from year to year, improving fuel efficiency is of utmost importance to businesses within the Trucking Industry.

Using GPS Technology to get from point A to point B without getting lost means less time finding loads. When you consider many companies have dozens or even hundreds of drivers on the road at any particular time, costs can add up quickly. Every minute on the road saved can add to bigger profits for the company. In addition to less time looking for a load, GPS Technology is helping drivers reduce idling time by avoiding traffic jams.

The American Trucking Association (ATA) suggests that the best way to reduce fuel consumption is to reduce speed. According to this study by the American Trucking Association found a truck traveling at 75 mph consumes 27% more fuel than one going 65 mph; so limiting truck speed to 65 mph would save 2.8 billion gals. of diesel fuel over a decade. More experienced drivers know this and can save the business and the industry as a whole as much as 27% yearly by driving at an appropriate speed.

Driver monitoring

ELD’s or electronic logging devices are helping fleet managers monitor driving habits to benefit safety and fuel efficiency. Monitoring drivers with ELD’s allows companies to more effectively manage driving habits and more quickly offer extensive training to new drivers. When new drivers are evaluated remotely, it can lead to better safety outcomes and better fuel efficiency for the business and the industry as a whole.

Traffic Coordination in the Trucking Industry

With the ability to communicate and access fleet information remotely, many companies are able to improve delivery times. Drivers can now coordinating driving patterns to miss traffic and bad weather. Some technology are good enough to warn a driver about a risk they face in their blind spot in realtime. This leads to less time spent idling and less instances of Distracted Driving.

Recruiting and staffing

Technology and the internet allow trucking companies to find more drivers in more areas of the country then ever before. Many drivers find jobs through online job boards over their phone while sitting at a rest stop. Because of this accessibility, drivers and owner operators have more access to better jobs and better pay rates then ever before. Also, staffing agencies are now able to source positions out to only the most qualified drivers more effectively. The process of matching drivers with the companies looking for their skills is better and more efficient. This benefits everyone within the industry and allows the industry to keep shipping rates low.

Comforting Drivers in the Trucking Industry

Technology benefits the driver in many ways then just the efficiency of their driving. With streaming services, there are better music listening options and more ways for drivers to communicating with their family and friends while they are away from home. This adds to the quality of life for drivers who live a different work schedule than pretty much any other industry.

Truck Driver unloading his rig.

How is Technology Impacting Insurance?

Less Frequent Claims

Improvements in the Trucking Industry, through better technology, lower the frequency of claims the insurance industry has to process and pay for. Less insurance claims usually results in improving rates for multiple types of commercial insurance.

Less Severe Claims

When the Trucking Industry benefits from technology, it also results in the claims that are filed being less severe. When the claims are less severe, insurance carriers do not have to fork over as much money to cover these less severe claims. When a trend of less severe claims occurs throughout an area or an industry, it results in lower insurance premium for those states and industries.

Better Data

Technology allows insurance carriers to process more and better data. Processing data more efficiently allows insurance carriers to save time and man hours processing policies, renewals, and claims. The insurance industry has decades of data to use in order to make am underwriting decision. This data allows them to more effectively recommend coverages and limits to businesses within the Trucking Industry. Technology allows more people within the insurance industry to have more information at the hands to make decisions more effectively.

Garagekeepers Coverage

Garagekeepers Coverage Helps Cover Liability to Cars Left in Possession of a Business

Garage Liability Insurance Coverage and Garagekeepers Coverage are two confusing types of insurance policies. If you as a business owner feel overwhelmed when trying to determine which is best for your business, you are not alone. These coverages are difficult to understand not only for most business owners looking to purchase the coverage, but also for many agents and customer service representatives who are looking to service and sell the policies. The main difference between garage liability and garagekeepers coverage is the difference between Liability Insurance and Physical Damage Insurance. Garage Liability Insurance covers the insured’s liability for operations and Garagekeepers Coverage covers damage to a customer’s vehicle. All businesses with garage risks need both coverages to properly insure their business. In this article we are going to examine the specifics of Garagekeepers Coverage.

Car Mechanic working under the hood.

What Exactly is Garagekeepers Coverage

According to the International Risk Management Institute, Garagekeepers coverage is, “Coverage provided under a garage policy for auto and trailer dealers, particularly those dealers that maintain a service department or body shop, for liability exposures with respect to damage to a customer’s auto or auto equipment that has been left in the dealer’s care for service or repair”.  In layman’s terms this type of insurance is similar to a form of bailee liability where the purpose of the policy is to protect the client’s car, truck, or motorcycle while it is in the possession of the business. Policies differ from carrier to carrier, but a normal policy covers damages related to fire, theft, vandalism, or collision.

Car mechanis working on the frame of a car near a wheel.

3 Parts of Garagekeepers Coverage

There are three main parts to this coverage that a business owner should speak with their agent about when adding this policy to their Business Owner’s Package. Those three parts are legal liability, direct primary, and direct excess. Legal Liability covers mechanic’s negligence. If damage is cause to a vehicle while in possession of the business, your business is covered. Two prime examples of this type of liability are when a mechanic damages a car while working on it or driving the car around the property. The other time this liability arises is when an employee forgets to lock the vehicle overnight and there is theft or vandalism as a result. Direct Primary means the client’s vehicle is protected regardless of whether the damage is due to negligence, theft not attributed to negligence, or damage due to extreme weather. Direct Excess is a type of coverage that is similar to “direct primary” coverage, but the difference is Direct Excess is paid only in excess of any amount collectible if the insured is not held legally liable. Like Direct Primary, Direct Excess protects a client’s vehicle regardless of fault.

Car Racing Mechanics preparing for a race.

Common Exclusions to Garagekeepers Coverage

Some common exclusions to a traditional Garagekeepers Coverage include: damage or theft of stereo equipment, loss of CD’s left in the backseat of a vehicle, loss of cellphones, scanners, or mobile radios, loss or damage to radar detection devices, defective parts installed on a vehicle, and even faulty work done by a mechanic.

Swimming Pool Maintenance

A Swimming Pool Maintenance Company has unique risks only the right insurance can take care of

A Swimming Pool Maintenance Companies are fairly unique businesses that exist within a specific niche. Because of the specialization of this niche, there are unique risks that only small businesses within this industry face. Businesses within this industry help clients maintain a cleanly and healthy pool environment during the warmer months of the year. The local lifeguard might be able to put chemicals in the water on a regular basis, but service technicians are trained professionals who can fix problems that exist among all types of swimming pool facilities. This expertise brings about a tremendous amount of risk that a business needs to be protected from. Here are ten types of insurance all Swimming Pool Maintenance Companies should consider.

Outdoor Pool near a beach setting displaying the need for a Swimming Pool Maintenance Company.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance is designed to cover basic property damage and bodily injury claims that your business may be liable for to third parties. It provides broad liability coverage for both personal injuries and property damage that occurs as a result of the actions of your business. Some common claims include advertising errors, libel, slander, defamation, as well as common slips, trips, and falls caused by your employees. It is important to remember that general liability insurance is not all encompassing. There are exclusions included in all general liability policies and there are additional coverages needed by nearly all swimming pool maintenance companies.

Workers Compensation

For purposes of Workers Compensation, a Swimming Pool Maintenance Company is given NCCI Class Code 9014. In most states, workers compensation is required by law for most businesses who have employees. There are some states who have exclusions based upon the size and structure of your business. even if your business is allowed to not carry coverage, it is not a wise decision to go without coverage if you have employees. Workers Compensation Insurance provides medical benefits and some lost wages to employees when they are hurt on the job. A business benefits from not being able to be sued for most employee injuries that occur as a part of normal business operations.

Lap Swimming Pool

Commercial Property

No matter if your business owns or rents a property, you need to secure some form of commercial property insurance in order to protect your business from property damage. Commercial property insurance protects your businesses physical assets from risks including fire, explosions, bursting pipes, hail storms, tornadoes, theft, and even vandalism. Natural disasters including hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods commonly are not covered by this coverage. These perils are typically not covered unless added to the policy. Commercial property insurance also covers most things inside your property including:  computers, furniture, equipment, exterior signs, fencing, landscaping, important documents, and inventory.

Commercial Auto Insurance

A Commercial Auto Insurance Policy is needed for a swimming pool maintenance company if they have any employees who operate a motor vehicle while on the job. Some form of commercial auto insurance policy is needed by a business regardless of whether the vehicles are owned or leased by the business. If the automobiles are owned, a traditional commercial auto policy will suffice. If a business has employees who use their personal vehicles, the business needs to secure a Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance Policy. This type of policy will also need to be secured if a business has employees who operate rented vehicles while on the job.

Inland Marine Coverage

Inland Marine Insurance is designed for equipment that is frequently in transit or stored at a third party location. If a business uses a trailor to transport equipment to a clients location, the trailor and all of the equipment loaded on the trailor are not covered by the businesses commercial auto insurance policy. This is why an inland marine insurance is necessary. This policy is best to be added to a suite of policies in order to avoid gaps in coverage.

Indoor swimming facilities need the specialization of a Swimming Pool Maintenance Company.

Cyber Insurance

If a swimming pool maintenance business accepts credit and debit cards as a form of payment, it needs to consider some form of cyber insurance. This is especially true if any of the information is stored for any period of time. Data Breaches are becoming more prevalent and small businesses are a prime target as most enterprise level businesses have put in place adequate cyber security measures. Cyber Insurance is almost always sold in a package of two policies. One deals with the first party damages to the business and the other deals with the third party liability a business faces to third parties damage as a result of a data breach.

Business Income and Extra Expense

Business Income and Extra Expense Coverage helps cover the cost of lost income a business experiences when it has to be closed for a period of time after a covered loss. The key to the policy is that the underlying claim has to be a covered loss. If a business is closed due to an earthquake and the proper insurance was not in place, this coverage will not be activated. This coverage can be used if the business is entirely closed or the normal business operations are interrupted.  In many instances, this coverage is the difference between a business being closed for a short time period and never opening the doors of the business again.

Surety Bond

A Surety Bond is an agreement between three parties, The three parties involved include the swimming pool maintenance company, the client, and the insurance company. The agreement insures the insurance company will pay your client an agreed upon amount if the business cannot deliver up to the standards of the contract. Many times a bond is required as part of a contractual agreement. The difference between a bond and a insurance policy is that the business is required to pay the insurance company back instead of just a deductible. Not all businesses are eligible for a bond depending upon the insurance carrier they are partnering with. Carriers prefer to offer bonds to established companies with a clean claims history.

Lifeguard Ring left out for the Swimming Pool Maintenance Company to clean up.

Umbrella Insurance

An Umbrella Insurance Policy is a cost effective way to ad to the limits of any existing policies. the way an umbrella policy works is that it will kick in only when the limits of another covered loss have been met. Take for example is a commercial property insurance policy has a limit of $500,000 on a property that is worth $400,000. There are additional cost associated with cleanup and removal of all debris. Also, there may be new ordinance or laws that are required int he state, county, or city that were not existent when the property was previously built. In order to bring the new building up to code, the cost of the new property may exceed the $500,000 of the commercial property insurance policy. In this case an Umbrella Policy would kick in to cover the additional costs up to the limits of the Umbrella Policy.

Business Owner’s Package (BOP)

A BOP is a suite of insurance policies designed for a specific industry and they are created to save a business money while preventing any gaps in coverage. Insurance carriers have decades worth of claims data to determine what types of claims certain businesses within certain industries are likely to face. Because of this information, carriers design a recommend package of policies for businesses within a particular industry and a specific classification code. Partnering with an independent insurance agent is a great way to determine which package of products is best for your business.

Chimney Cleaning

Chimney Cleaning is part of NCCI Classification Code 9014

The Chimney Cleaning Industry for purposes of workers compensation is given NCCI Classification Code 9014. This industry has many unique exposures unique to just this industry. Some common types of claims for businesses in the chimney cleaning industry include: client property damage, damage to your specialized equipment while out on a job, an employee causing a car accident while on the job, and stolen supplies or equipment. Because of these risks it is important to get an insurance package that is right for each individual business. Here are five insurance policies all chimney cleaning businesses should consider in order to protect the business properly.

Old Home with a Large Chimney.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance will cover a business for normal insurance claims that arise from the business of cleaning, repairing, and installing chimneys. This type of insurance will cover a business in the event an employee damages a client’s roof, chimney, or other property. It will also cover the cost of a lawsuit that arises up to the limits of the policy. These legal costs can be incurred because of a third party lawsuit related to property damage, bodily injuries, and even advertising injuries. The important part to remember in relation to general liability insurance is that it is not all encompassing. There are additional policies nearly all chimney cleaning companies need to secure.

Black and White Photo of a man cleaning a chimney. Commercial Property

Commercial Property Insurance is needed by a chimney cleaning business only if they operate a physical location. This includes a facility a business rents and it may impact the business owner’s homeowner’s policy if the business operates out of the owners house. Common claims related to commercial property insurance include fire, theft and natural disaster.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance for a chimney cleaning business is needed by any business who has an employee drive a car as part of their work. This is the case whether the employee is driving a car the business owns, a rented vehicle, their personal car, or even if the owner is driving their personal vehicle for work. If the business owns the vehicle being used for work, a traditional commercial auto insurance policy is the correct policy. If the business has employees who drive their personal vehicle or a rented vehicle, the business will need to include an additional hired and non owned auto insurance policy. This will cover the liability the business faces to third parties for accidents that occur because of the actions of the employee while on the clock.

Laborer who works for a Chimney Cleaning Company. Umbrella

An Umbrella Insurance Policy is a affordable way to add to the limits of other existing policies. An Umbrella Policy kicks in only when the limits of the underlying policy are met and it only kicks in on loss that are covered by another underlying policy. If the claim is not covered, an umbrella policy will not kick in in place of the missing policy.

BOP Insurance

A Business Owner’s Policy allows a business to bundle all policies together in to one package. This is beneficial to the business for two main reasons. First, it prevents any gaps in coverage from occurring. A gap in coverage is when a claim occurs where two policies associated with the claim have exclusions related to the particular claim in question. When a business bundles all policies together in a BOP is beneficial to a business is because carriers are more likely to dig deep for additional credits and discounts when they know a business is purchasing multiple coverages. These two benefits make sure a business gets comprehensive coverage at rock bottom rates.