Part 3: You Are Pulled Over in Your Fleet Vehicle; Now What?

All owners of moving and storage companies should be aware of the proper procedure when pulled over by an officer. That is exactly why our movers insurance experts have put together this three-part blog. If you have missed the first two portions, be sure to check out our blog and backtrack!

In the final installment of this series, we would like to discuss how you should be treating the police officer that has pulled you over. Acting out or overreacting could land you in some serious trouble!

To avoid more trouble, it is important to be respectful. Do this by:

•    Having your documentation ready

•    Addressing the individual as “officer” or “trooper”

•    Never attempting to offer gifts or bargain with the officer

•    Understanding that your stop may actually be recorded (there is audio and video equipment at times!)

•    Keeping in mind that these officials are simply doing their job to keep drivers safe

In the event that a driver is issued a ticket or violation report, it is important that he or she notifies the company immediately. It is important to follow all instructions on the paperwork!

We hope that you have enjoyed this three-part blog series and hope that in the event that you are pulled over and inspected, you are 100% ready.

Speaking of being ready… our agents believe that being prepared for the unexpected should always be a priority, especially when it comes to protection. For more information on our movers insurance program, contact us at Wolpert Insurance.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Part 2: You Are Pulled Over in Your Fleet Vehicle; Now What?

Pulled over? Uh-oh! Last week, we discussed conducting a thorough “pre-trip” inspection to make sure you are fully prepared to start a journey. This week, we have a few tips to offer for those times that you are pulled over, how to handle it and what documents will be necessary to show the officer. While our main priority is to provide insurance for moving companies, we still believe it is important to discuss important issues surrounding the moving and storage field.

First, let’s discuss what to do once you are pulled over:

The number one thing is to relax. It is important for you to safely pull over to the right side of the highway. If you feel nervous, keep in mind that if you are operating properly under the FMCSA guidelines, you should not have a problem.

Remember: NEVER get out of your truck unless you are asked to do so by the officer. Make sure you keep all hands in full view. The best position is to have both hands on the steering wheel. Any sudden movement may come off as a possible threat, so stay calm.

It is also important to be prepared by having all documentation in a safe place with easy access.

So what documentation will you need?

•    A current, valid driver’s license for the CMV being used

•    A current medical examiner’s certificate

•    Driver’s record of duty status (log)

•    A copy of the current vehicle annual inspection or annual inspection sticker on the vehicle

•    Automatic or electronic on-board recording device instruction sheets describing how to retrieve hours-of-service information

•    Bill of Lading documentation for common and for-hire carriers

•    Lease agreements, if applicable

•    Vehicle registration documentation

•    Permit credentials such as the following: base state of IRP cab card, IFTA license and decals, state authority credentials, insurance card, any necessary temporary trip permits or special permits such as oversize/overweight, hazardous materials paperwork (shipping papers, emergency response information, etc.)

At Wolpert Insurance, we want to make sure you are always prepared for the unexpected, whether that is being pulled over for a check or involved in an accident. For unexpected claims, you should have coverage in place. Our agency is dedicated to providing insurance to moving companies, such as yourself. For more information, give us a call! We would be happy to speak with you and provide you with a free quote. Be sure to come back next week for the final blog of this series: respecting the officer.

Part 1: You Are Pulled Over in Your Fleet Vehicle; Now What?

Oh no! It happens to even the best of drivers: you have been pulled over by a local, state or federal police officer. As a CMV driver, it is important to know how to handle this situation without getting yourself into more trouble. The last thing you need is a ticket or issue that could affect your movers insurance premium!

In this three part blog series, we will go over everything from pre-trip inspections, what to do once you are pulled over, necessary documents, the importance of respect and what to do once you are issued a violation or citation. This week, let’s focus on the pre-trip inspections.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that commercial motor vehicles may be stopped at any time and inspected by local, state or federal enforcement authorities. It may occur at weight stations if there is any suspicion that the CMV is unsafely loaded or not in compliance with weight or measurement requirements. Another common cause of being pulled over is for seat belt checks. So how do you prepare for these inspections? It is important to conduct a thorough circle check (pre-trip) everyday prior to beginning your journey. This pre-trip inspection should include:

•    Vehicle overview

•    Check engine compartment

•    Start engine and inspect inside of cab

•    Turn off engine and check lights

•    Walk-around inspection

•    Check signal lights

•    Start engine and check brake system

If you notice any flaws or faults, it is important that you have them fixed before hitting the road. If not, you may find yourself pulled over sooner than later. If you have any other questions or concerns, you can always visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website!

As for coverage, you can always contact our experts at Wolpert Insurance. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free movers insurance quote or any questions you may have about this unique program. Until then, be sure to come back next week for the second blog of this three part series. We will be discussing what you should do once you are pulled over and the necessary documents that you will need to have on you.

HHG Self-Audit List for Moving and Storage Companies, Part 2

Each week, our agency offers helpful tips and advice, whether having to do with our movers insurance program or having to do with the moving and storage industry. Last week, we went over 10 questions that moving and storage company owners should go over in order to “self audit.” These 10 questions focused on Intrastate Transportation of Household Goods. This week, we have put together another list to become familiar with:

10 questions to ask when it comes to Warehousing / Storage of Household Goods

1.    Do you utilize a combination inventory and warehouse receipt?

2.    If yes, does it limit your liability to $.60 per pound / $2,000 per lot?

3.    Do you offer your storage customers the right to increase/declare excess value? If so, do you also offer excess value and commercial insurance coverage?

4.    Do you always prepare an inventory on household goods going into storage?

5.    Does your warehouse receipt incorporate the inventory by reference?

6.    Do you always prepare an inventory immediately following removal from storage?

7.    Do you store business, legal, and medical records? If yes, do you utilize a “records storage receipt/contract?”

8.    Does your receipt limit liability on a “per-box” basis?

9.    Do you store “Commercial Property?”

10.    If yes, do you use a “commercial property” warehouse receipt?

If you answered no to any of these questions and are looking for answers, feel free to contact our agency. We would be happy to discuss this with you!

At Wolpert Insurance, we are dedicated to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information about the moving and storage industry. It is important for business owners in this field to stay on top of these things, and we want to help you to just that!

For those interested in learning more about our movers insurance program, contact us at any time. We would be happy to speak with you about the coverage we can provide you with, from general liability to warehouse legal liability.