ELD Mandate Device Compliance

In December of 2017 the mandate for ELD (Electronic Logging Devices) started. While many devices claimed to be compliant, how are you to know what devices are FMCSA certified and which ones are not? The FMCSA recently provided a checklist to consider before selecting a device for your truck.

Before you purchase an ELD, have the vendor confirm that it:

  • Provides separate accounts for drivers and administrative (non-driver) ELD users
  • Has “integral synchronization” with the engine control module to automatically record engine power status, vehicle motion status, and other data
  • Automatically records all driving time and at intervals of 60 minutes. Records date, time, location, engine hours, vehicle miles, and driver identification
  • Reduces location accuracy to a 10-mile radius when vehicle is used for authorized personal use
  • Records location with an accuracy of one-mile radius during on-duty driving periods
  • ELD time is synchronized with UTC (coordinated universal time)
  • Retains data for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days
  • Prevents tampering; does not allow anyone to alter or erase information originally collected for driver ELD records
  • Prevents tampering; does not allow anyone to alter or erase information originally collected for driver ELD records
  • Requires driver to review unidentified driver records – and either acknowledge assignment of this driving time, or indicate that the records do not belong to the driver
  • Allows a driver to obtain a copy of his/her ELD records on demand – either through a printout or electronic file
  • Supports one of two options for electronic data transfer:
    • Telematic Type: using wireless web services or email
    • Local Transfer Type: using USB 2.0 or Bluetooth
  • Displays all required standardized data to authorized safety officials on demand – through a screen display or printout that includes three elements: a daily header, graph grid showing driving duty status changes, and detailed daily log data. The graph grid, if printed, must be at least 6 inches by 1.5 inches
  • Requires driver certification and annotation (written explanation) for any edits to records that are made by the driver or any other ELD user
  • Volume control or mute option for any audio feature

*Information checklist provided by the USDOT

The new rules and regulations regarding the ELD devices can be confusing. If you have any questions about this device feel free to call and ask to speak with one of our commercial truck insurance specialists or request a quote on our website.

I’m Starting Out My Trucking Business. What type of Insurance Do I Need?

Truck Insurance for my new business in CaliforniaWhether you’re an owner-operator just staring out, or perhaps a towing operator you need great truck insurance coverage. Network Truck Insurance Services offers great options from some of the nation’s top truck insurance companies regardless of the type of trucking business you operate. Consider some of these great coverage options:

  • Truck General Liability – This coverage pays for injuries or property damage you cause as a result of business related activities not directly related to your truck.
  • Truck Cargo Insurance – Coverage for your freight from loss due to fire, collision or striking of a load.
  • Non-Trucking Liability – Covers you when you’re using your truck for non-trucking activities such as running to the grocery store or visiting friends.
  • Trailer Interchange – Coverage for trailers being pulled as part of a trailer interchange agreement.
  • Rental Reimbursement & Downtime Coverage – Covers the cost of renting a truck if yours is out of commission due to a covered loss.
  • Physical Damage Coverage – Coverage for your truck when involved in a collision, fire, theft or vandalism.
  • Mechanical Breakdown Coverage – Coverage to help cover costs associated with mechanical breakdown such as towing.
  • Many more! Visit our website to learn more about coverage options that may fit your needs.

Network Truck Insurance Services in Roseville, CA can insure your business regardless of where you live or where your business operates. We work with the top truck insurance carriers in the country to offer you unparalleled coverage and pricing options that fit your needs to ensure you can be safe on the road and that your trucking business stays afloat if you’re involved in a major accident.

My Child Is Delivering Food With His Car. Do I Need to Share This With My Insurance Agent?

Insurance Coverage you need if delivering food with your vehicle in CaliforniaIt is great that your child has a job and is earning their own money. The modern world of convenience is offering us many new ways to get food and almost instant retail deliveries, but what you should know is that your standard auto insurance policy likely does not cover you for delivery type services.

Regardless of what you deliver, a personal auto insurance policy doesn’t provide coverage for paid delivery drivers. For this, you need a commercial auto policy.

A commercial auto insurance policy is needed for:

  1. Freight delivery
  2. Food delivery services
  3. Courier delivery services
  4. & many more!

Some people think that simply not telling their insurance company means they won’t be able to charge them the extra premium and that they will pay the loss. Don’t kid yourself. Simply not telling your insurance company that you or your child is using their vehicle for delivery does not mean they will cover you when a loss occurs using the vehicle. In fact, when it comes to insurance, it is a black and white coverage decision. Either there is coverage or there isn’t.

When deciding what coverage you need, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who owns the vehicle you’re using for delivery? If it is owned by the company, they probably have a commercial policy. If you own it, you need to carry the right insurance.
  2. How are you using this vehicle? Delivery drivers need a commercial insurance policy.

Your best bet is to talk to a licensed agent in our office to discuss your insurance needs. Remember, simply not telling your agent or your company that you or your child is using the vehicle for delivery doesn’t mean you’ll be provided coverage regardless of any auto insurance claim you have to deal with.

Preventing Injuries With Your Trucking Business

Best Truck Insurance Rates in CaliforniaTrucking is a satisfying and independent business much of the time. You travel from place to place hauling cargo for businesses and consumers alike, essentially keeping our economy moving. Sometimes you put in long hours so ensuring your safety is a top priority. Here are some safety tips to ensure you’re safe on the open road the next time you hop behind the wheel.

Inspect Your Equipment

Inspecting your equipment can prevent more than just injuries to yourself. Insecure loads, worn-out straps and tie down points can cause your load to shift or come off your trailer. Completing regular walk-arounds of your equipment before each time your drive it can be an easy prevention strategy.

Buckle Up

According to the Department of Transportation, nearly half of all truckers fail to use a seatbelt while operating their trucks. This simple safety technique can not only help to prevent injuries, but could save your life.

Wear proper safety Equipment

Utilizing proper safety equipment is a simple strategy to avoiding injuries. Things like non-slip, steel toed boots and shoes, gloves and hardhats are examples.

Back Safety

Teaching your crew or learning yourself proper techniques for lifting as well as driving posture can help you avoid back issues.

Enter & Exit Truck

Requiring your drivers and yourself to enter and exit trucks using the three-point-contact.

Incident Investigation

If you’re the owner of a trucking business and have other drivers working for you, it is essential that you investigate any safety or work injury incidents appropriately to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Not all injuries can be prevented, but using these simple strategies for both yourself and your drivers can help control insurance costs as well. Network Truck Insurance Services in Roseville, CA works with the top truck insurance companies in the nation. Contact us to get a free truck insurance quote or policy review.

Understanding Trailer Interchange & Non-owned Trailer Coverage

It is common in the trucking industry for truckers to use trailers belonging to others in their business. All of our coverage forms extend liability coverage to non-owned trailers while attached to a covered auto. However, in many instances truckers are responsible for any physical damage that may occur to the non-owned trailer while it’s in their possession as well. Physical damage for non-owned trailers is not inherently including in your liability policy- it must be added to your policy separately.

There are simple additions we can make to your policy to cover non-owned trailer physical damage.

*Trailer Interchange- Trailer interchange is the most common with the UIIA (Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement). Trailer interchange does extend to liabilities an insured may incur for damages to a trailer while it is in his possession, and does not require that the trailer be attached at the time of loss. It also includes “containers” under the definition of trailers, so it is used most often for intermodal operations where the equipment includes both a trailer chassis and container. Trailer interchange does require a “written trailer or equipment interchange agreement” be in place at the time of loss, so it may not extend to all situations when a trucker has a non-owned trailer in his possession.

*Non-owned trailer Physical Damage- This coverage extends over a covered auto and “any non-owned trailer while attached to the covered (or scheduled) power unit”, and usually lists a limit of maximum physical damage coverage amount for the non-owned trailer. The advantage of this coverage is no written agreement must be in place. It is important to understand that the non-owned trailer must be attached to a covered power unit at time of loss for non-owned trailer physical damage to apply.

If you have any questions about pulling non-owned trailers or otherwise, feel free to call us at Network Truck Insurance Services and we will be happy to assist you in making sure your insurance policy fits your needs!

Reporting Claims – How to properly get the most out of your insurance policy

BAM! It’s a noise no trucker wants to hear while driving their commercial vehicle, but unfortunately accidents do happen. Practicing safe driving habits can help avoid many accidents; however, it is equally important to understand how to properly report a claim. Quick and thorough claim reports will help you get the most out of your insurance policy, as well as help you get back on the road.

Claim reporting- Do’s and Don’ts

Do…

*Collect as much information as possible. This will help your insurance company determine fault, and ensure that fastest claim resolution. Obtain information from other drivers and passengers, and make note of any potential witnesses and their contact information.

*Take photos. Pictures taken of damage, vehicle and property alike will help your insurance adjusters have a better understanding of your case. Take photos of the accident scene, any road markers, and other identifying information such as license plates and insurance cards.  If you do not have a smart phone, keep a disposable camera in your glove box.

*Contact the police. While police may not come out to every accident scene, it is important to notify the authorities just in case- even if the accident seems minor.

Don’t…

*Delay reporting your claim to your insurance company. Report your claim as soon as possible. Many insurance companies want to be notified within 24 hours of the accident.

*Admit fault. Never admit fault for an accident, even if you believe it so. Without a complete understanding of events, you don’t know whose fault the accident is. It’s possible the other driver was drinking or using a cellular device. Do not admit fault to the police or other drivers.

As always, make sure to have a complete understanding of your insurance policy. Every truck policy is different, and understanding the limits of your insurance policy will help you get the most out of it- especially in a claims situation. If you are unsure about your limits, or need assistance understanding your policy you are welcome to give us a call at Network Truck Insurance Services and we’ll be happy to help. Our goal is to keep your business covered!

What’s the difference between an insurance broker vs. insurance company?

An insurance broker that specializes in commercial transportation has many benefits for you that a normal auto insurance broker may not even be aware of.  Many insurance companies  have programs designed to work with a specific type of insured and often offer additional discounts. For example, Network Truck Insurance Services, Inc.  is part of the Progressive Sand & Gravel Program which offers exclusive rates and extra benefits specifically geared to sand & gravel haulers. Our agents are trained to know these specialized markets and how to utilize them to the full benefit of the our clients. Additionally; our customer service team can quickly issue certificates, endorsements and answer questions throughout the day. When you call our office during regular business hours you will always reach a human being not an automated system!

How to ensure the best trucking insurance rate

Getting the best rate for your commercial transportation insurance can be a time consuming and daunting task. While the quality and personalization of your policy is important, achieving the best possible rate is equally essential. The insurance industry is becoming more and more competitive, which gives the consumer a bit of leverage when choosing a policy. At Network Truck Insurance Services, Inc, our skilled agents work diligently to find the best possible quotes. While partnering with an agency helps you get the best rate achievable, these easy-to-follow tips will also help you get the lowest rate on your commercial insurance premium.

Ensure Truck Safety

While searching for commercial transportation insurance, be sure to keep safety in mind at all times. Be sure to keep the truck, its mechanics and tires in good condition. A well maintained truck can translate into lower truck insurance premiums. Also, be sure to know what the Department of Transportation inspection entails to be sure that your vehicle will pass.

Maintain a Clean Driving Record

It is best to keep a clean driving record before embarking on a new commercial insurance policy. You and your drivers’ record will affect your insurance premiums. Insurance companies will consider how many years you have been driving, commercial driving training and general ability to drive safely.

Check Credentials

Get your commercial transportation insurance from a leading insurance provider. Network Truck Insurance Services, Inc works closely with leading insurance companies such as Progressive, Lloyd’s, Great American Insurance Group, and CCIC among many others.

Do Not Compromise on Coverage

Going with a lower insurance premium is not always the most viable option if your coverage is compromised in any way. Always consider the terms, conditions and extent of coverage. A skilled agent will be able to ensure proper coverage for your business.

A quick lesson on cargo coverage

When our clients receive their annual cargo policy, it generally gets safely filed away completely unread. After all, thumbing through hundreds of pages of insurance verbiage isn’t exactly the most enthralling task as a business owner. Clients more often prefer to trust their agents to choose the correct cargo policy to meet their trucking business needs. And while our expert agents strive to provide the most complete coverage, clients should have an understanding that each cargo policy is often drastically different from the next. Being familiar with policy exclusions can be extremely helpful for the policy owner, as needs and operations may change throughout the life of their policy.

Each insurance company reserves the right to create their own version of a cargo policy. Each policy contains its own general set of unique exclusions and enhancements that should always be taken into account when choosing a policy to suit your trucking business. For example, commonly excluded or items in cargo insurance policies include: alcohol, tobacco, silk, jewelry, electronics, seafood, eggs, frozen foods, and flowers. Cargo policies also often exclude losses arising from particular situations, such as mechanical breakdown of a refrigeration unit, rust, or wetness. And often, there are exclusions for certain niche cargo such as autos, boats, yachts, used household goods, motor homes and livestock.

Other common differences in cargo coverage includes a co-insurance clause, (a penalization for under-valuing cargo), no coverage for newly acquired or substitution vehicles and no cargo coverage if the cargo is loaded on a trailer that is not attached to an insured vehicle at the time of loss.

Our clients should also consider additional expenses that some insurance companies will provide, above and beyond the general loss of cargo. Some examples include pollutant clean-up, payments to help reduce the loss, expenses for freight re-loading, debris clean-up, and earned freight reimbursement (reimbursement for the miles you would have invoiced from the point of pick up to the point of loss, that your client will most likely not be paying for.)

With so much information and individual considerations, our agents work tirelessly to ensure proper coverage for our clients. However, client education is equally important.

Should any questions arise; review  your policy and limits, and then feel free to call our office for a no obligation quote at 1-800-266-8789, and our agents and customer service team will be happy to help you.

Becoming familiar with your insurance policy & avoiding unwanted claims

Here at Network Truck Insurance Services, we want to keep our clients informed and comfortable that they are being taken care of while on the road. And while we do our very best to keep our family of customers safe, it is also the insured responsibility to become familiar with the exclusions and business purpose of their insurance policy.

First, our clients should be familiar with the jobs they intend on taking on that may have special insurance requirements. Some brokers require higher limits of liability than others, some may require General Liability, or some may require special commodities or trailer coverage. Strong communication between our clients, their agents and customer service team will help ensure that our clients are properly covered under any situation.

Not only should our clients be aware of insurance limit requirements when they take on new brokers- but also be aware of the commodities that they are taking and any exclusions that may be on their policy. For instance, shrimp and shellfish are very commonly excluded commodities. If a client were to be unaware of this fact and accept a $90,000 load of frozen shrimp, experience a reefer breakdown mid-trip and lose the load- as an excluded commodity this claim may not be paid. This would leave our clients in a hard spot without proper coverage.

If a customer intends to act as a broker or sub haul loads, this work also requires special insurance coverage. All too often we hear of truckers acting outside of their policy limits and causing great financial strife when they find the work they’ve been doing wasn’t actually covered. Remember- if the job description changed, your insurance requirements may have as well.

If ever you have a question about your policy limits or work needs, our agents and customer service team are standing by to keep you safe and covered on the road.