The Importance Of Wearing A Seatbelt: The Costs

Last week, we discussed the rules and regulations as they pertained to seat belts and your trucks within the moving and storage industry. The long and short of it is this: any driver in your fleet MUST wear a seatbelt or face violations and consequences.

Unfortunately, despite strict regulations from FMSCA, there are still commercial vehicle operators out there who are not wearing their safety belts. As a result, there are some serious costs that FMSCA associates with that. Without a solid policy within your company, your operators may not consider the true importance of wearing a seat belt.

Consider this:

According to the FMSCA, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of lost work time and on-the-job-fatalities.

  • The average cost for property damage for a truck crash: $11,020
  • The average cost, per injury, for a truck crash: $174,367
  • The average cost per fatal truck crash: $3,469,962
  • The average cost for all truck crashes, per truck: $62,613

As an employer in this industry, these costs can add up. Consider that each workers compensation claim for a work-related employee fatality is well over $100,000. But it is not just about the cost in dollars and cents. The result of a fatal accident can also result in your moving company having to deal with much more:

  • Loss of knowledge and skills
  • Time spent replacing employees
  • Reassigning and retraining positions
  • Lost business
  • Legal fees
  • Increase in your movers insurance policy as a result of an increase in workers compensation, property, liability, commercial auto and health related insurance premium costs

At Wolpert Insurance, we don’t just want to help you with your insurance needs; we want help your company be successful at what you do. With that in mind, our goal is to provide you with pertinent information and regulations. When it comes to the safety of your drivers, and of your fleet, we want you to be informed. Check back next week to learn more about how these important safety regulations have an impact on your fleet’s FMSCA safety scores – and ultimately, your movers insurance!

The Importance Of Wearing A Seatbelt For Your Moving Company

In the moving and storage industry, you and your drivers sure are behind the wheel a lot. Depending on the amount of time spent in the vehicle, the risk of an accident increases.  When you and your employees are behind the wheel, are they sure to be wearing a seatbelt?

Considering the personal safety aspect is important, but of course, you have a business to think of as well. Did you know that if a commercial driver is pulled over and found to not be wearing a seatbelt there are serious consequences not just for the individual, but also for your moving company?  Each company is assessed based on the Safety Methodology System (SMS) from the FMSCA—violations of important regulations such as seatbelt laws do have an impact.

For commercial drivers, wearing a seatbelt is not an option.

Title 49, Section 392.16 of the Code of Federal Regulations states:

“A commercial motor vehicle that has a seat belt assembly installed at the driver’s seat shall not be driven unless the driver has properly restrained himself/herself with the seat belt assembly.”

Here are the facts:

  • The majority of commercial vehicles use the 3-point safety belt system: a lap belt and a shoulder belt is used in this assembly.
  • FMSCA states that: any commercial motor vehicle which has a seat belt assembly installed at the driver’s seat is not to be operated unless the driver has properly utilized the seat belt.

Violation of seatbelt requirements carries a fine that is counted against the moving company as a part of their Safety and Fitness Scores.

  • Under the Code of Federal Regulations section. 392.16, it states that: Failing to use seat belt while operating a CMV carries a violation Severity weight of 7.
  • CMV operators who are penalized this way have to worry about more than just the personal ramifications.
  • This type of violation impacts the carrier’s BASIC Unsafe Driving Score for a period of 24 months and 36 months for the individual driver’s score.
  • Depending on Safety and Fitness Scores, the impact could span to loss of business and refusal of movers insurance.

At Wolpert Insurance, we want you to be safe on the road, and we want you to be able to obtain insurance! Remember, driving safe is beneficial for every part of your company: from personal safety, to your business’s well-being, all the way to claims on your movers insurance policy.

In the next two weeks, we will delve into seatbelts and their impact on your company as it relates to safety scores, insurance, and costs – starting next week with the costs you could face.

How Can You Save On Your Movers Insurance Premium?

Did you know that at Wolpert Insurance we strive to obtain the best rates we con negotiate with our Carriers for moving companies?

As the owner of a company in the moving and storage industry, you are naturally exposed to many risks, especially when it’s related to your trucks and the time they spend on the road. But as a moving company, you’re probably not spending as much time on the road as a transportation or full-service trucking company, right?

Typically, here is the process of obtaining movers insurance:

  • An insurance company will offer a moving company a rate based on many factors including accident history, location, and perceived risks.

In Massachusetts, our insurance rates are generally higher because there are a lot of people and cars on the road at any given time. In terms of perceived risks, many insurance companies will simply use commercial trucking rates when you’re looking for coverage for your moving vehicles. However, your trucks stay motionless most of the day, so we may be able to help you with that.

Why should you have to pay expensive movers insurance premiums based on the risks of the road? At our agency, we may have a solution for you.

  • We understand better than anyone that during a move, your truck is usually parked on the side of the street or in a driveway pretty much all day.
  • We work with special underwriters and markets that may be able to write you a mover’s insurance policy that reflects these facts and reduces their premiums accordingly.

Why pay for premiums when you don’t think you’re necessarily exposed to the risks you’re paying for?

This program is not available to just anyone, so call us and we can help determine if you are eligible.

At Wolpert Insurance, we want to help business owners and operators of moving and storage companies like yours understand that we partner with you when it comes to insuring your risks. We understand that you may have a lot of questions, and we want to do our best to answer them. Reach out to us today for more information!

Moving Estimates

Running a successful business means paying attention to details. In the moving and storage industry, there sure are a lot of details to pay attention to aren’t there? While surely you can think of a surprisingly long list of important things to check not once, but twice, we argue that your paperwork – bills of lading, estimates and even receipts and quotes – are some of the most important things to pay attention to.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has strict regulations when it comes to the legal liability of moving companies as they carry out their services. We’ve recently gone over the different types of quotes which are legally acceptable as well as the requirements for an accurate bill of lading, but one thing we haven’t talked about is estimates.

Any carrier providing transportation or storage service of goods must issue an estimate for moves done or property it receives.

Without proper documentation, your movers insurance may not be able to protect you from costly liability claims that may occur from a move your business makes.

What Should An Estimate Entail?

An easy way to handle this requirement is to issue estimates for all of your transactions. Fortunately, the Department of Transportation makes it easy to comply – they offer all of the information you should include.

  1. Date of shipment
  2. Names of cosigner and consignee
  3. Number of packages being shipped
  4. An accurate description of the freight – including weight, volume and measurement
  5. The rates you have quoted and assessed
  6. Total charges due upon completion of transaction
  7. Transfer points and route of movement
  8. Address where recipient’s shipment will be delivered

This estimate should be agreed upon and shared BEFORE the shipment takes place. Prior to payment, a receipted copy should be given.

It is good practice to keep a copy of all estimates – this will help you to avoid any false claims or disputes about payment or services. At Wolpert Insurance, your best interest is our priority. Should you ever have to deal with any disputes regarding a documented estimate, we are always willing to help. Remember, keeping accurate and detailed records will always help you in the long run!