Understanding Motor Truck Cargo Insurance & Why You Need It!

A motor truck cargo policy provides insurance coverage and protection on the goods and commodities hauled by a for-hire trucker. This endorsement is especially important for owners and operators of moving companies.

This particular policy safeguards your liability for cargo that may be lost or damaged due to a variety of risks, such as:

  • Fire
  • Collision
  • Striking of a load; if your cargo is accidentally dumped on a roadway or waterway

There are various aspects to motor truck cargo insurance such as removal expenses coverage, in which your moving company can receive coverage pays for the cost to remove debris.

Does your company need motor truck cargo insurance?

It’s been quite common for truckers to be required to insure their cargo. In regards to insurance for moving companies, a motor truck cargo endorsement pays off, when you are responsible for damage or loss of a client’s cargo. When you enroll in a motor truck cargo policy, you have the opportunity to select a limit for your coverage; this limit reflects the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for damaged or lost cargo. Additionally you will need to choose a deductible.

Motor truck cargo insurance is available most often for the following commercial vehicle types: dump truck, tractor, most trailers, box trucks, cement mixers, cargo vans, dually pick-ups, flatbeds and car haulers.

It’s also important to understand what is and is not covered by the standard motor truck cargo policy. Below, you can find the most commonly excluded cargo types:

  • Art, jewelry, money, or paper
  • Contraband, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, alcohol
  • Live animals
  • Property while in custody of any other motor carrier
  • Storage greater than 72 hours
  • Shipping containers
  • Explosive or radioactive material
  • Property or goods owned by you, the insured

Adding a motor truck cargo endorsement to your commercial movers insurance package can allow you to protect your responsibility as a for-hire trucker. Interested in learning more about insurance for moving companies and the extra degree of protection a motor truck cargo policy can provide you? Contact the coverage experts at Wolpert Insurance to discover your specialized commercial insurance options today!

What Your Moving Company Needs to Know: Bobtail Insurance Basics

As an independent trucker you are entirely responsible for your truck, with or without the trailer. As an owner and operator of a commercial truck, it is advisable to review the lease agreement with your carrier to determine which type of coverage you are required to maintain.

What is Bobtail Insurance?

Looking into bobtail insurance is your best bet. Many contracts will include the terms bobtail liability and non-trucking liability together, suggesting that these key phrases mean the same thing, in regards to coverage. However, there is a subtle, and somewhat confusing, difference about the actual definition of bobtail liability insurance.

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A bobtail insurance policy is uniquely designed to cover the tractor when it is not attached to a trailer – no matter what its status is. This coverage is also commonly called “Deadhead coverage”.

Why is Bobtail Insurance Significant?

Bobtail insurance is significant for a variety of reasons; most importantly because it provides coverage for medical expenses and associated costs for injuries or even death, as a result of an accident occurring while the operator is not under dispatch. Bobtail insurance can also help protect against and mediate the costs of damages to other people’s property.

Trucking operators should understand what bobtail liability is and ensure that they have the right commercial truck insurance in place before taking to the road; rather than consider a policy after an accident has already resulted in costly damages and loss. By exploring your insurance options further you may find that it can help mediate loss from a variety of covered any damages, collision costs, theft and more.

Requirements for Coverage

Insurance companies typically have a few prerequisites you must meet before they will provide you with bobtail insurance; but there are some requirements for coverage you should be aware of. As an operator will need to have a permanent lease agreement longer than 30 days with a motor carrier, and oftentimes it is preferred that you have at least three years of experience hauling loads. Operators will also be obligated to provide your truck’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), your name, driver’s license number, date of birth and contact information in the event of a loss due to physical damage to the truck.

With a specialized bobtail insurance policy, you can rest assured knowing that your truck is covered no matter what the situation may be. Interested in learning more about Commercial Trucking Insurance – specifically the unique coverage with can offer to moving and storage companies, like you? Contact the coverage experts at Wolpert Insurance to discover your specialized commercial insurance options today!

Your Moving Company, Insurance & Obtaining a Commercial Drivers License

When you own and operate a company, which requires the use of commercial trucks, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind: it takes obtaining a CDL license, training and specialized insurance to get things started.

The most important requirement for truckers is to obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Without it, you are not eligible to drive any trucks that are more than 26,000 pounds hauling capacity. You are required to take this test which is composed of two sections:

  • General knowledge test
  • Road driving test

Depending on the type of commercial vehicle you will be operating, applicants are required to pass various tests, both on paper and on the road. After receiving your CDL, you are qualified to start working.

It’s also important to remember that as an independent trucker, you are entirely responsible for your truck, with or without the trailer. So the first thing is to decide in what form you will own your vehicle. But should you buy it in a corporation, LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) or as a DBA? And what protection does each afford? As an owner and operator of a commercial truck, it is advisable to review with your attorney and your CPA the best form of ownership for you. However, as a general rule, having the vehicle owned by a corporation will generally limit your personal liability helping to protect your personal assets such as your home, savings, retirement funds, and paycheck.

The form of your business will also impact how you qualify and by the first compensation coverage. Each form of ownership has its unique characteristics in this respect and you want to export each of them before deciding on what’s best for you. You also will be required to review the lease agreement with your carrier to determine which type of coverage you are required to maintain.

Keep in mind that insurance for moving companies differs from the standard trucking coverage. What many commercial trucking operators fail to acknowledge is that when you own and operate a moving company your trucks stay stagnant for periods of time. Your average commercial truck is constantly on the road, moving from one destination to the next, while your moving truck stays parked for extended period of time during the loading and unloading phases – this makes you vulnerable to different risks. Aside from taking the first step, and ensuring you have obtained your CDL, be sure to look into the unique coverage options offered to moving and storage companies.

Interested in learning more about the specialized commercial trucking options we can offer you? Contact the coverage experts at Wolpert Insurance to discover your specialized commercial insurance options today!

How Seatbelt Violations Can Impact Your Moving Company

You already know that wearing a seatbelt can not only save your life, but the lives of others; and you already understand the costs associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes; but do you understand the big picture?

A major concern in the moving and storage industry for commercial businesses is how they stack up against the competition. The FMSCA uses the Safety Methodology System (SMS) to assess roadside performance of moving companies and ranks them as they perform against other companies. There are six different Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs):

  1. Unsafe Driving
  2. Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance
  3. Driver Fitness
  4. Controlled Substances/Alcohol
  5. Vehicle Maintenance
  6. Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance

And of course, there is the Crash Indicator- which uses history of patters and frequency to determine how likely a fleet is to be involved in an accident.

While we could talk about all of these categories (and we will… eventually), we want to focus on Unsafe Driving. The CSMS assesses the Unsafe Driving BASIC using violations of FMCSRs . These are typically recorded during roadside inspections (pullovers) or reported in the MCMIS.

  • Under the Code of Federal Regulations section. 392.16, “Failing to use seat belt while operating a CMV carries a violation Severity weight of 7.”
  • This violation impacts the carrier’s BASIC Unsafe Driving Score for a period of 24 months – with the severity of the points varying throughout that time frame.
  • The BASIC system acts as a behavioral reinforcement process – the more recent a violation, the higher the value of the points assessed to the driver and commercial business.

How can this impact my moving company in the long run?

The FMSCA uses these Safety & Fitness scores to assess and rank moving companies. For individuals and businesses searching for a reputable and safe company, they have access to http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/. By typing in the company name, their scores, percentiles and violation records are displayed.

A carrier’s measurement for each BASIC is based on:

  • The number of violations as they relate to that specific BASIC or crash
  • The severity of the violations or crashes
  • The timing of the violations or crashes – the more recent, the higher the weight

Once a measurement for each BASIC is determined, the carrier is placed in a group of carriers with similar inspection numbers. Percentiles from 0 to 100 are then determined by comparing the BASIC scores the carriers. A percentile 100 indicates the worst performance – this would imply that 100% of companies are better than yours.

As if that isn’t the worst part, consider this:

  • These scores must be good to get voluntary markets to quote your movers insurance
  • In fact: One national carrier rules are that if a fleet has more than 2 out of service inspections within 24 months they do not quote
  • What does this mean for you? Paying attention to safety regulations as they change and how they impact your company is imperative. Understanding your Safety and Fitness Scores will allow you to determine how your business stacks up – and where you need improvement.

    At Wolpert Insurance, we do our best to explain any changes as they happen and what it means for you. Our job goes beyond offering you comprehensive movers insurance – we want to help you run a successful business.