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Commercial Auto Symbols – Part 1


Have you ever, during a particularly wild moment, closely examined the insurance policy that covers your business vehicles?  If so, you may have noticed the little numbers that appear next to each listed coverage. Hopefully you’re familiar with these numbers and their meaning. If not, please see below.

Covered Auto Designation Symbols

Those little numbers are called covered auto designation symbols and they represent the type of vehicle that is protected by the applicable liability or physical damage insurance limit. As you review the symbol definitions, it is important to remember several points. One is that the symbol may apply to either a particular kind of vehicle OR the vehicle’s ownership status. The second point is that "auto" is a defined term, so you must be familiar with your particular policy’s definitions (they can vary among different insurance companies). A third point is that the symbols differ depending on whether the coverage is for liability or physical damage.

Liability Coverage Auto Symbols

1 = Any "Auto"

This is the broadest symbol designation and covers any "auto."

2 = Owned "Autos" Only

This symbol covers any "auto" owned by an insured, including any "auto" that is acquired after the policy begins. The symbol also applies to any "trailer" while it is towed by an owned vehicle.

3 = Owned Private Passenger "Autos" Only

This symbol covers only private passenger type "autos" owned by the insured, including any private passenger type that may be acquired after the policy begins.

4 = Owned "Autos" Other Than Private Passenger "Autos" Only

This symbol covers all "autos" other than private passenger type "autos" (vans, trucks, motorized equipment) owned by an insured, including such vehicles that may be acquired after the policy begins. The symbol also applies to any "trailer" while it is towed by an owned vehicle.

5 = Owned "Autos" Subject To No-Fault

Any "auto" owned by an insured that is garaged or licensed in a state where no-fault benefit laws exist. This symbol also applies to any "auto" acquired after the policy begins.

6 = Owned "Autos" Subject To A Compulsory Uninsured Motorist Law

Any "auto" owned by an insured that is garaged or licensed in a state where drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This symbol also applies to any "auto" acquired after the policy begins.

7 = Specifically Described "Autos"

Only those "autos" that are specifically listed on the policy are covered. The symbol also applies to any "trailer" while it is towed by a listed vehicle.

8 = Hired "Autos" Only.

This symbol covers only those "autos" that an insured leases, hires, rents, or borrows. HOWEVER, it does NOT include "autos" leased, hired, rented, or borrowed from an employee, partner, or member of an insured’s household.

9 = Nonowned "Autos" Only

This symbol covers only those "autos" an insured does not own, lease, hire, rent, or borrow that are used in the insured’s business, including "autos" owned by employees, partners, or members of an insured’s household, but only while those non-owned "autos" are used either in the insured’s business or personal affairs.

19 = Mobile Equipment Subject To Compulsory Or Financial Responsibility Or Other Motor Vehicle Insurance Law Only

This symbol only applies to land vehicles that are considered mobile equipment under the policy's mobile equipment definition. It allows extension of coverage for vehicles in states that confer vehicle status by making certain types of self-powered equipment subject to registration/licensing law.

See part 2 for discussion of physical damage and manuscript auto symbols


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Commercial Auto Symbols – Part 2


See part 1 for opening discussion on purpose and on Liability Auto Symbols.

Physical Damage Coverage Auto Symbols

1 = Owned "Autos" Only

This symbol covers any "auto" owned by an insured, including any "auto" that is acquired after the policy begins.

2 = Owned Private Passenger "Autos" Only

This symbol covers only private passenger type "autos" owned by the insured, including any private passenger type that may be acquired after the policy begins.

3 = Owned "Autos" Other Than Private Passenger "Autos" Only

This symbol covers all "autos" other than private passenger type "autos" owned by the insured, including any "autos" other than any private passenger type that may be acquired after the policy begins.

4 = Specifically Described "Autos"

Only those "autos" that are specifically listed on the policy are covered. The symbol also applies to any "trailer" while it is towed by a listed vehicle.

5 = Hired "Autos" Only

This symbol covers only those "autos" that an insured leases, hires, rents, or borrows, unless the "auto" is leased, hired, rented, or borrowed from an employee, partner, or member of the insured’s household.

Manuscript Symbols

In some instances, a particular insurance company may agree to provide coverage for a vehicle or ownership situation that is not described in the above symbols. When this occurs, a special symbol, such as 10 for liability or 7 for physical damage coverage, is used and added to the policy by an endorsement. The endorsement must contain a complete explanation/description of what the symbol means. Then, that number must appear next to the applicable coverage(s).

If you have a question about any of these symbols or how coverage applies under your policy, the answers lie with the nearest insurance professional. Call them; they’re eager to help you understand your protection.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Non-Owned Auto Coverage


Employees routinely use their own vehicles in their jobs or just to run errands for their employer. Does your company have protection in case of an accident and both your worker and your company are sued? If your company has a business auto policy, it should include coverage for ‘non-owned’ automobiles. These are vehicles owned by others (such as an employee) that are used in the business of the company. Generally a business auto policy only protects against losses involving company-owned vehicles, so it is important to add "non-owned" coverage.

Basic business auto insurance only covers employees while operating a company-owned vehicle to perform company business. An employee’s personal automobile policy may exclude business use; so a coverage gap may exist if an employer’s vehicle policy is not modified to handle non-owned vehicles.

Another important consideration is whether the amount of non-owned coverage is sufficient. Any non-owned auto liability limits should be high enough to protect both the business and the employee. A company has to evaluate its particular coverage need in order to determine the proper level of coverage. Including ‘non-owned’ auto liability coverage on the business policy will provide coverage for the business over any deficiency in limit from the employee’s personal auto policy. This is coverage for the BUSINESS, not the employee.

If the company does not own any automobiles, it is possible to purchase business auto liability coverage for only the danger of loss involving its use of ‘hired and non-owned’ vehicles. The ‘hired’ portion would cover business travel and vehicle rentals; the ‘non-owned’ portion would cover employees using their own auto in the business.

Even if a business rarely uses non-owned autos, it only takes one serious accident to create a significant loss for the business. You should find an opportunity to discuss this coverage with an insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc

 

 

Coverage For Business Autos


Many businesses are exposed to the financial consequences of their ownership, use or maintenance of vehicles used in their operations. Most coverage needs can be handled by a business auto policy (BAP) or similar form which cover operations such as:

·        Product or food delivery

·        Transporting business products to wholesalers or retailers

·        Retail product delivery to consumers

·        Carrying persons for short, intermediate or long distance routes

·        Picking up customer items for cleaning, repair, storage, etc.

Coverage is flexible. It may be purchased as a separate policy or as part of a package of coverage that can also protect buildings and business property (equipment, furniture, etc.). A BAP generally offers:

Liability Coverage–protection for physical injury to other persons or their property because of an accident related to your covered vehicle, including legal defense cost or expense.

Comprehensive Coverage–handles loss from any cause except collision. A limited, less expensive option is available. It only protects against a set of specific causes such as fire, lightening, explosion, vandalism and several others

Collision–takes care of damage from crashes with another object or overturn of the vehicle

Towing And Labor Costs–handles expenses for moving disabled vehicles

Loss of Use/Rental Vehicle Coverage–if you damage a rental car, this option helps to reimburse the rental company for income it loses because the vehicle is out of use. Also, there may be limited coverage for injury or damage that you cause to others while using a rented vehicle anywhere in the world.

Typically, a business auto (or similar form) bars coverage for the following:

·         any injury/damage that you expected or intended

·         responsibility for damage you assume under a contract

·         losses that should be handled by a Workers Compensation, Disability Benefits or Unemployment Compensation Law

·         Bodily Injury to an employee caused by a Fellow Employee

·         Damage to property that is in your Care, Custody and Control

·         Any bodily injury or property damage that occurs because of Pollution

·         Any loss that is related to racing, demolition or stunts

Are you protected against business auto losses? Drive over and discuss your situation with an insurance professional. The trip will be worth it.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Commercial Drivers Drug and Alcohol Testing – Part One


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees an extensive testing and education program to help employers protect the public against drivers who use controlled substances and/or alcoholic beverages during their work. We will discuss the program in two parts. This part will focus on the actual regulations and who is subject to the program. Part two will discuss compliance and consequences of non-compliance. Nationally, drivers must comply with the following:

·         .04 is the maximum blood alcohol level for persons operating a commercial motor vehicle.

·         The driver cannot possess any non-manifested (listed) drugs or alcohol in his vehicle.

·         No on-duty use of drugs or alcohol permitted, including avoidance of use within four hours before operation or eight hours following an automobile accident.

·         Cannot refuse either a random or post-accident drug or alcohol test.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Definition - Under the rules, a commercial motor vehicle is one that has a gross combined weight (GCW) of more than 26,000 lbs.; that is made to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver); or that is used to transport hazardous material.

Persons Subject to Testing - Any person who operates a commercial motor vehicle must follow regulations. Affected persons include, full-time, regularly employed drivers (included self-employed operators); casual, intermittent or occasional drivers; leased drivers and independent owner operator contractors who are either directly employed by or under lease to an employer who operates a commercial motor vehicle at the direction of or with the consent of an employer. It’s important that businesses be aware that any person who operates a commercial motor vehicle must comply with the program, regardless whether the person has a commercial driver’s license. Further, drivers for civic organizations and churches are also subject to the program.

The regulations apply during any time that a driver is performing a safety function. Safety functions include a wide variety of tasks such as:

·         While waiting to be dispatched

·         During equipment inspection

·         Anytime at a vehicle’s controls

·         During a vehicle’s loading/unloading

·         During a vehicle’s repair

Compliance with the program involves testing for alcohol use as well as for use of marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP and opiates. Drivers are required to tell their employers when they are using any therapeutic or prescription drugs. Testing must be performed prior to offering employment, within a certain time after an accident, and at random times. Driver testing can be ordered, but only if a trained person has a reasonable suspicion that the driver is affected by drugs or alcohol. Further, testing is required of employees who are returning to the job after they have been relieved of duty due to a previous, positive test.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

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Commercial Drivers Drug and Alcohol Testing – Part Two


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees an extensive testing and education program to help employers protect the public against drivers who use controlled substances and/or alcoholic beverages during their work. We will discuss the program in two parts. This part will focus on penalties, training, record keeping and consequences of non-compliance. Part one discusses the actual regulations and who is subject to the program.

Penalties For Failing A Drug Test–A driver who fails any alcohol or substance abuse test may face the following:

  • suspension from performing any "safety functions"
  • evaluation by a "substance abuse professional"
  • extensive documentation of test results
  • retesting of the suspended driver, with passing results (alcohol test with no more than .02 blood alcohol and a negative controlled substance test) before reinstatement.
  • Termination (not a regulation, but at the discretion of the employer)

Record Keeping Requirements–Employers must maintain complete records of their drug-testing results for at least five years. Further, an employer must keep a calendar year summary of their testing program that is subject to review by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Training Required By The Regulations–Drivers must receive training in substance abuse avoidance and be given a manual on the company’s alcohol and substance abuse policy. Manuals must be acknowledged in writing and it must be kept on file. Supervisors – employees who are authorized to order testing based on reasonable suspicion of abuse must have two hours training.

Respecting Employee Rights–Employers should consider:

  • Supervisors who order a test under reasonable suspicion should base his/her judgment upon specifics
  • Before testing, the driver must be verbally notified that it is required by statute
  • Only a properly trained supervisor can order a drug/alcohol test due to reasonable suspicion
  • Random tests must truly be random
  • Any random test must be given either just before, during or after performance of a "safety function"

Required Rehabilitation Services–Any driver who is tested by a supervisor due to suspicious behavior (regardless of test results) must be given the names, addresses and phone numbers of "substance abuse professional" counseling and treatment programs. Before reinstating an employee who has failed a drug or alcohol test, the driver must undergo evaluation, pass drug testing and be given follow-up tests.

Employers Who Use Independent Drivers–These employers have to periodically verify that the drivers participate in an approved alcohol and controlled substance testing program. The business must secure written evidence that the drivers have been tested and have passed these tests.

Consequences Of Noncompliance–A company that fails to comply with the program may face civil and/or criminal penalties. In addition, a party that decides to sue a company because of an accident might use any evidence of violations against it.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2011

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Garage Operations


IMPORTANT – This discusses Garage Coverage. This program is very widely used, but was recently replaced by the Auto Dealers Program.

Garage operations are businesses that have hybrid coverage need. With such businesses, the lines between the general liability for the operations and the automobile liability exposures blur and overlap. A general liability policy does not provide enough coverage and a commercial auto policy provides too much. Fortunately there is a way to properly handle this need. The Garage Coverage Form contains premises liability, products liability, automobile liability and automobile physical damage coverages. Operations that should be protected with the Garage Coverage Form include the following:

  • franchise and non-franchise auto dealers
  • truck dealers
  • motorcycle dealers
  • snowmobile and recreational vehicle dealers
  • new and/or used trailer dealers
  • vehicle repair shops
  • service stations
  • storage garages and
  • public parking places

The Garage Coverage Form is flexible, having the ability to cover a wide variety of automobile loss exposures. Besides covering vehicles that are owned by the covered business, it may also cover vehicles that are non-owned (rented or borrowed), trucks and other non-private passenger vehicles, trailers and mobile equipment. Coverage may even apply to vehicles that are privately owned by employees, but were involved in a work-related loss; say an employee who has a collision in his personal car while returning from picking up lunch for his boss and co-workers.

A garage policy may also be written to customize how coverage applies to different types of vehicles. For instance, Joe's Towing Service has a fleet of four tow trucks, as well as a sedan used by the owner. The towing service also does repairs and regularly has customer vehicles on their premises. Rather than having both liability and physical damage on all cars the services either owns or handles, Joe selects the following:

·        Liability and Physical Damage - for his two newer tow trucks and his sedan.

·        Liability only - for his two, older tow trucks

·        Physical Damage Liability only - for vehicles belonging to customers

Like other types of policies, a garage coverage form also provides legal defense coverage. In other words, the policy handles the costs associated with defending the policy owner against claims and lawsuits. This protection does not affect the separate limits of insurance that are selected for the liability coverages.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2013

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Garagekeepers Coverage


Business should pay close attention to their chance of suffering loss involving their use of vehicles. It's relatively easy to recognize loss created by cars and trucks that are owned and/or used in a business, such as sales representative cars or delivery vans. But there's another source of vehicular loss that is faced by many businesses: vehicles that are damaged after left in the custody of a business.

Garagekeepers Coverage is an option that can be added to various types of commercial automobile insurance. The businesses that may want to purchase this coverage are service stations, restaurants and hotels with valet parking, parking lots, and special event operations with valet parking, car washes, and any other type of operation which allows customers to leave their cars with them for a fee. The customer has the reasonable expectation that the car will be returned in at least the same condition as when it was left.

The coverage is needed because a basic commercial auto policy bars protection for automobiles that are put in an operation's care, custody or control. However, if the optional Garagekeepers’ coverage is added, the business is protected for most sources of loss that could damage a customer's car, pickup or SUV.

Example: Plonkville Performing Arts Center has become very popular and, because of huge audiences for its performances, the Center purchased land adjacent to it and built a parking garage. The Center offers valet parking and also allows its employees to use the facility. Plonkville has a commercial auto policy to cover the vehicles it owns and supplies to the Center's key personnel. One day, a small fire breaks out in the parking garage offices and several vehicles are damaged. Patrons who owned the damaged cars file claims totaling nearly $10,000. Two cars belonging to the Center suffer $3,500 in damages.

Scenario One - Plonkville Performing Arts Center's commercial auto policy did not have garagekeepers' liability coverage added. While their policy takes care of the smaller loss to the Center's cars, the customer car damage is ineligible for coverage.

Scenario Two - Plonkville Performing Arts Center's commercial auto policy did have garagekeepers liability coverage added. Their modified policy takes care of both the smaller loss to the Center's cars as well as the customer car damage.

If your business faces a significant chance of loss from its responsibility for vehicles belonging to others, you should discuss your coverage needs with a qualified insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance


A major activity of commercial trucking is transporting cargo. There are two parties with a huge interest in the cargo: the property's owner and the trucking company or independent trucker transporting that property. Usually it is the trucker's responsibility to arrange for insurance. Insurance protection becomes the trucker’s burden since that is the party having custody and control of both the vehicle and the goods being shipped. Motor Truck Cargo coverage responds to a substantial, combined exposure. Specifically, it protects against the liability similar to taking a house full of expensive contents on the road for a long trip.

The coverage is typically written in the name of the independent trucker or trucking firm that owns the transporting vehicle. The policy protects against claims by third parties such as:

·        The owner of the goods being transported - Ex.: a hit and run driver slams into Sam's truck and takes off. Sam has to report to his client, a toy maker, that the entire shipment of bikes, paint sets and dolls was destroyed. The toy maker sues Sam to recover damages.

·        Other drivers on the transportation route - Ex.: Linda, of Linda's Luxury Landliners, fails to see an SUV and destroys it as she backs out of a truck stop.

·        Persons authorized to handle the truck or its contents - Ex: Jim greets Pete of Midwest Transportex, Inc. After Pete opens the truck for unloading, Jim climbs up and then falls off the back of the truck. Pete failed to properly secure the doors, causing Jim's injury.

Cargo coverage can be complicated, While all transportation exposures have basic items in common, the total exposure is affected by the type of equipment, the routes traveled, the distance traveled, the driver’s experience, the type of cargo being shipped, the time allowed to make the delivery, whether the trip involves intrastate, interstate or even across-the-border travel.

Cargo policy limits should reflect the value of the property being shipped. However, many policies restrict coverage by providing a maximum limit for certain perils such as theft. Another restriction is to void any theft coverage if the loss occurs when the covered vehicle is unattended. Such provisions are usually used when commodities such as alcohol, expensive garments, and electronics are being transported. Such goods attract thieves, so insurers are more careful about providing insurance.

The amount and type of coverage may also be affected by various state laws, so coverage should reflect the coverage necessary to comply with the most demanding jurisdiction on the travel route. Insurance companies that offer Motor Cargo Coverage are often very knowledgeable about this type of insurance. They typically also have different preferences for the amount of coverage they wish to write, the type of property they want to cover and the type of shipping companies and/or circumstances. It is important that, when securing coverage, a trucker or trucking company be certain they receive the help of a person who is qualified to understand what coverage is needed and what is being offered by various insurers.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Bobtail and Deadhead Coverage


Trucking operations face unique transportation risks presented by instances of bobtailing and deadheading. A tractor that is traveling on the road without a trailer is considered to be bobtailing.

Example: Joe drops his trailer at Fran’s bakery and then heads to Doug’s Plumbing supplies to pick up a trailer. In between the two customers, he is bobtailing.

Any time a tractor is pulling an empty trailer, it is considered deadheading.

Example: Mary ran a load of apples from Saginaw to a processor in Grand Rapids but has no pickup in Grand Rapids and returns to Detroit with an empty trailer. She is deadheading between Grand Rapids and Detroit.

If you are an independent trucker operating for hire with a trucking operation; you have a concern. Once an independent trucker has completed his job, the insurance coverage provided by the trucking operation ceases. Bobtail and deadhead situations are two of the most common times when an independent trucker is operating outside the trucking operation’s coverage.

An independent trucker may buy a Commercial Truckers Policy and gain full-time coverage. However, this is expensive and creates an issue of duplicate protection. Another option would be to buy a Commercial Business Auto policy and add a coverage option with wording that eliminates double coverage.

Example: Lucy has a tractor-trailer unit and normally does contract work with ABC trucking. She decides to pick up some extra money by carrying a load for a friend without going through ABC. During the job, she collides with another vehicle. With this endorsement, there is no coverage because she was operating as a business. If she had just helped a friend, there would be coverage and if she had contracted through ABC, ABC’s policy would have handled the loss.

Under the above option, coverage does not apply to a loss involving anyone who is in the business of transporting property for hire and who is responsible for the named insured’s conduct as an insured. This is the portion of the wording that removes the chance of duplicate coverage.

Example: Lucy contracts with ABC Trucking to deliver a load of fruit. The weight shifts and the trailer fishtails. Before she regains control, she strikes two sedans, demolishing both vehicles. ABC trucking cannot ask for coverage under Lucy’s policy because they are in the business of transporting property for hire and they are also responsible for Lucy’s conduct.

While insurers are typically quite open to providing the additional coverage to handle the extra needs of independent truckers, some avoid operations involving vehicles that regularly travel to areas where the insurer does not operate. For advice on whether your firm has unprotected trucking-related exposure to loss, be sure to discuss your situation with an insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Drive Other Car Coverage – Part 1


Vehicles that are owned or supplied by a business, non-owned and rented cars represent a problem when they are insured under a basic business auto policy. Such policies either provide little or no coverage when a loss involves personal use or use by a person who is NOT the vehicle’s owner. Serious coverage gaps may exist, such as:

1. A basic business auto policy does not provide liability coverage for operating a hired or non-owned car. The individual is only covered while driving their company owned vehicle

Example: Joe has no personal auto policy since his employer supplies and insures the car he drives. One day Joe accompanies his friend to a bachelor’s party. Later in the evening, his friend drinks too much and asks Joe to drive them both home. On the way, his friend passes out, distracting Joe from noticing a stop sign. Joe crashes into a minivan. The friend had minimum limits on his policy and Joe is left with no insurance coverage for the damages and injury he caused.

2. No coverage exists for the individual’s spouse or other family members for medical payments, uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist.

Example: Cindy and her parents drive her dad’s company-owned car, so they don't have a personal auto policy. Cindy’s pal, Karen, invites her to go shopping at a mall. Halfway there, a pick-up strikes Karen’s car and Cindy was seriously injured. The other driver was uninsured and Karen’s policy carried minimum uninsured motorists (UM) limits. Cindy’s family had to bear the expenses that weren't handled by Karen's UM coverage.

3. No coverage is provided for physical damage losses to any hired or non-owned car.

Example: Ginger hated the boredom and inconvenience of driving her husband’s company car, the only one in the household. Her neighbor, Jake, was selling his sports car, which he couldn’t afford to insure. Ginger liked the car, so she took it for a test drive. However, she took a sharp turn too fast, ran off the road and hit a tree, demolishing Jake’s car. She had to pay for the damages herself since the insurance on her husband's company car did not cover the loss.

 

There is an option that could close these gaps. A business auto policy could be amended with Drive Other Car Coverage. This option can be used expand the policy to list and protect other persons and situations. Typically, the following coverages are provided by the option:

  • Liability
  • Auto Medical Payments
  • Uninsured Motorists
  • Underinsured Motorists
  • Physical Damage

 

Please see part two of Drive Other Car Coverage to see how this option works.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Drive Other Car Coverage – Part 2


In Part 1, we mentioned that households who don’t have personal auto coverage because the vehicle they use is owned by a business face coverage gaps. The gaps are due to the limitations of basic commercial auto coverage. However, the problems may be addressed by adding an option called Drive Other Car Coverage. The option is usually flexible to meet various needs.

The additional protection can extend liability coverage to non-owned or hired vehicles as long as the amended policy lists all members in the driving household. There are two exceptions. First, no member of the household can own the vehicle. Second, the vehicle cannot be one involved with running a business as a car dealer, repair operation or parking lot.

Let’s revisit Joe from Part 1. Remember that Joe hit a minivan when he ran a stop sign. The accident happened while he was operating a friend’s car. If Joe’s commercial auto policy was amended by a Drive Other Car form, he would have coverage up to the amount that appears in that form. Coverage would apply to the damage and injury caused by Joe.

A Drive Other Car Coverage form extends Auto Medical Payments and Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage to protect non-owned and hired vehicles when driven by any member of the insured household. For instance, in Part one we discussed Cindy, who was injured as a passenger while returning home from a shopping trip. Under a policy modified by Driver Other Car coverage, Cindy would be covered for underinsured motorist coverage.

Another issue handled by a Drive Other Car Coverage option is Physical Damage Coverage for non-owned or hired vehicles. The coverage expands the definition of covered auto to include a private passenger type vehicle that is under the control of the scheduled individual and the spouse. In the situation in part one featuring Ginger and Jake, the same tree abuse happens during the test drive, but this time the company policy on her husband’s car is modified by a Drive Other Car Coverage option. That insurance will pay Jake for the damage to his vehicle.

If your household’s vehicle situation is similar to what has been discussed, you might want to get together with an insurance professional to arrange for proper coverage.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Commercial Auto Medical Payments


Policies written for commercial operations that include a vehicle exposure (Business Auto, Garage, Trucker, and Motor Carrier Coverage) are missing an important coverage: Auto Medical Payments. This coverage handles the reasonable expenses of necessary medical and funeral services suffered by persons (other than those listed as insureds) in an eligible loss. The coverage includes expenses from related sickness, disease and/or resulting death.

One purpose of the coverage is to quickly pay an injured party's medical expenses from a covered accident in order to minimize the chance of a claim or a lawsuit. A second reason for the coverage is related to the first. If an insured's customer or client is injured, the insured will want to provide immediate aid. The action could result in retaining the customer/client's future business and goodwill.

Consider this situation. Fred’s Flavorfill Pizzeria is covered by a standard commercial automobile policy. One day Jenny, an assistant manager, jumps in a Flavorfill sedan to make a delivery. Patty, Jenny's sister who is visiting her, accompanies her. Jenny starts the car and, as she starts out of the Flavorfill lot, she has to swerve the car to avoid a customer who makes a fast, wide turn into the lot. Jenny hits the pizzeria's sign support and, in the collision, Patty's head is violently slammed against the passenger side window.

Scenario One–The pizzeria’s commercial auto policy does not have medical payments coverage. A couple of weeks after the accident, Fred receives notice that Patty is filing a lawsuit.

Scenario Two–The pizzeria’s commercial auto policy is endorsed with a CA 99 03, so it does have medical payments coverage. Fred is able to tell Patty that his insurer will take care of the ambulance and treatment costs. A couple of weeks after the accident, Fred gets a note from the happily recovered Patty, thanking Fred for handling the emergency medical costs.

Another situation that would benefit from auto medical payments coverage is for businesses that rent vehicles for business operations. Medical payments coverage would also extend to passengers injured while occupying rented cars or trucks.

Auto medical payments, added as an optional coverage (for additional premium) must change the way the policy to which it’s attached works. It does so by expanding what persons qualify as covered persons. For example, if the policy is written to cover a sole-proprietorship, the covered persons are expanded to apply to the business owner’s family. It also expands protection to apply to persons who are occupying or similar incidences of auto use (rather than restricting coverage to vehicle drivers). Further, medical payments coverage applies to injuries related to a loss involving a vehicle that is a temporary substitute for a vehicle that is listed as owned by the covered business.

Exclusions

A number of situations don’t qualify for auto medical payments coverage such as:

·         Injury that occurs when a car or truck is being used as a premises.

·         Injury that is experienced by a covered person while operating or occupying a car that he or she owns, but which is not listed on their commercial auto policy

·         Injury suffered by an employee of a covered person when the loss also involves their job (such protection is usually provided by workers compensation insurance).

There are other situations that are excluded from auto medical payments protection, but it is still a valuable coverage that many businesses should discuss with an insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Mobile Equipment


You might think that a policy that is designed to protect autos and trucks that are used by a business would cover any type of vehicle. That is a dangerous assumption, at least with regards to providing complete protection. There are instances when coverage for damage to certain types of vehicles and the legal responsibility for their use may have to be covered by two different policies. Mobile equipment falls into that nether region of insurance coverage.

The simple distinction between regular commercial vehicles and mobile equipment is that, while vehicles have the primary purpose of transportation of persons or property, the primary purpose of mobile equipment is to perform the special function of the particular equipment. With the latter property, its mobility acts merely to get the equipment to a site in order to complete a given job.

Because of this difference, mobile equipment qualifies for coverage under:

·         A commercial automobile policy when the loss involves operation of the property as a vehicle, particularly traveling to and from job sites, while being loaded, entering in and out of it, and in similar circumstances.

·         A commercial property or commercial general liability policy when the loss involves operation of the property as equipment. Generally the equipment is parked and anchored during such use.

Many types of mobile equipment are used in construction, mining, farming, commercial cleaning, sign installation, roadwork and other heavy-duty work situations. The variety of mobile equipment, consisting of both self-propelled units and trailers, is endless.

Examples of Mobile Equipment

Though not an inclusive list, examples of mobile equipment include:

 

Asphalt pavers

Tractors

Graders

Backhoes

Mowers

Manlifts

Buckets

Scrapers

Power shovels

Rollers

Fellers/bunchers

Front-end loaders

Rear-end loaders

Stone crushing plants

Drilling rigs

Mounted generators

Borers

Concrete mixers

Trenchers

Off-highway trucks

Forklifts

Crew Transports

Shredders

Conveyors

Mobile Communication Centers

De-limbers

De-barkers

Chippers

Grinders

Compactors

Peeling Machines

Pile drivers

Tower cranes

Skidders

Slashers

Mobile cranes

Derricks

Excavators

Bulldozers

Traffic Light Service Trucks

Boom Trucks

Cranes with magnets

Track-type loaders

Log loaders

Pumpers

Recyclers

Grapplers

Distributors

 

 

 

When you have to protect a vehicle that also functions as equipment, be sure to discuss your proper coverage needs with an insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Handling a Cellular Distraction


A business that deals with over-the-road transportation is highly concerned with substantially minimizing accidents. Vehicle accidents, besides interrupting work and creating loss of business property, have much wider consequences. Accidents also cause serious damage to public and private property and, more significantly, also create injuries and even fatalities. Therefore, it is important that persons who drive business vehicles do so safely.

Issues that adversely affect a person’s attention to proper driving are broadly categorized as distracted driving. Distracted driving could include any number of sources including:

·         conversations with a passenger

·         eating, drinking or smoking while driving

·         Focusing on activities or sights near a roadway (such as an accident, traffic stop, attractive pedestrians, tourist attractions, etc.)

·         attempting pre-work activities such as shaving, combing hair, applying make-up, etc

·         reading directions or maps

In other words, any activity that takes the focus off the roadway and the steering wheel qualifies as driving distractions. Among the most dangerous is the use of cell phones; particularly handheld phones. The act of pushing buttons and then focusing attention on a call substantially increases the chance of an accident. The situation is worsened when accidents involve large, commercial vehicles.

Commercial motor vehicles essentially are those that exceed 26,000 lbs (vehicle PLUS cargo weight), buses capable of transporting at least 16 persons (11 persons if passengers are younger than 21 and commuting to school) or are used to transport materials hazardous enough to qualify for use of warning signage. Persons who drive such vehicles, due to the very high stakes related to accidents, will soon be prohibited from hand-held cell phone use during vehicle operation. Per the USDOT’s rule, “use” includes the act of reaching for a phone with intent to handle a call.

Both individual drivers and their employers are subject to significant fines if caught in violation of the rule. As proposed individual drivers may be fined up to $2,750. Employers who permit driver cell phone use are subject to a per incident fine of up to $11,000. At the option of a given state, individual drivers guilty of two or more violations may be, further, subject to suspension of his or her Commercial Drivers License.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance


A major activity of commercial trucking is transporting cargo. There are two parties with a huge interest in the cargo: the property's owner and the trucking company or independent trucker transporting that property. Usually it is the trucker's responsibility to arrange for insurance since that is the party having custody and control of both the vehicle and the goods being shipped. Motor Truck Cargo coverage responds to a substantial, combined exposure. Specifically, it protects against the liability similar to taking a house full of expensive contents on the road for a long trip.

The coverage is typically written in the name of the independent trucker or trucking firm that owns the transporting vehicle. The policy protects against claims by third parties such as:

·        The owner of the goods being transported - Ex.: a hit and run driver slams into Sam's truck and takes off. Sam has to report to his client, a toy maker, that the entire shipment of bikes, paint sets and dolls was destroyed. The toy maker sues Sam to recover damages.

·        Other drivers on the transportation route - Ex.: Linda, of Linda's Luxury Landliners, fails to see an SUV and destroys it as she backs out of a truck stop.

·        Persons authorized to handle the truck or its contents - Ex: Jim greets Pete of Midwest Transportex, Inc. After Pete opens the truck for unloading, Jim climbs up and then falls off the back of the truck. Pete failed to properly secure the doors, causing Jim's injury.

Cargo coverage can be complicated, While all transportation exposures have basic items in common, the total exposure is affected by the type of equipment, the routes traveled, the distance traveled, the driver’s experience, the type of cargo being shipped, the time allowed to make the delivery, whether the trip involves intrastate, interstate or even across-the-border travel.

Cargo policy limits should reflect the value of the property being shipped. However, many policies restrict coverage by providing a maximum limit for certain perils such as theft. Another restriction is to void any theft coverage if the loss occurs when the covered vehicle is unattended. Such provisions are usually used when commodities such as alcohol, expensive garments, and electronics are being transported. Such goods attract thieves, so insurers are more careful about providing insurance.

The amount and type of coverage may also be affected by various state laws, so coverage should reflect the coverage necessary to comply with the most demanding jurisdiction on the travel route. Insurance companies that offer Motor Cargo Coverage are often very knowledgeable about this type of insurance. They typically also have different preferences for the amount of coverage they wish to write, the type of property they want to cover and the type of shipping companies and/or circumstances. It is important that, when securing coverage, a trucker or trucking company be certain they receive the help of a person who is qualified to understand what cove

Amboy - Main Office

111 S. Main St.

P.O. Box 157 Amboy, IN 46911

Main office: 765-395-7761
Toll free: 877-395-6200
Fax: 765-395-7763

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Bunker Hill Office

132 East Broadway

P.O. Box 356 Bunker Hill, IN 46914

Main office: 765-689-8432
Toll free: 800-688-8432
Fax: 765-689-0725

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Converse Office

105 South Jefferson Street

P.O. Box 620 Converse, IN 46919

Main office: 765-395-7811
Fax: 765-395-6216

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Fairmount Office

210 South Main Street

P.O. Box 67 Fairmount, IN 46928

Main office: 765-948-4129
Fax: 765-948-4120

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Flora Office

15 East Columbia Street

Flora, IN 46929

Main office: 574-967-3110
Toll free: 800-242-0466
Fax: 574-967-3569

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Greentown Office

109 North Meridian Street

Greentown, IN 46936

Main office: 765-628-7572
Fax: 765-507-9144

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Hartford City Office

209 West Washington Street

Hartford City, IN 47348

Main office: 765-348-1448
Fax: 765-348-1512

Office Hours:

Mon: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Kokomo Office

3833 South LaFountain Street

P.O. Box 6339 Kokomo, IN 46904

Main office: 765-455-2700
Fax: 765-453-5635

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Lafayette Office

3904 Regal Valley Dr

Lafayette, IN 47909

Main office: 765-838-8244
Toll free: 877-395-6200
Fax: 765-838-8244

Office Hours:

Mon: By Appointment
Tues: By Appointment
Wed: By Appointment
Thurs: By Appointment
Fri: By Appointment
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: By Appointment

Marion Office

153 East 3rd Street

Marion, IN 46952

Main office: 765-662-2010
Toll free: 800-688-3548
Fax: 765-662-2072

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Peru Office

26 West Main Street

Peru, IN 46970

Main office: 765-473-4519
Fax: 765-473-4510

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Somerset Office

1 Main Street

P.O. Box 176 Somerset, IN 46984

Main office: 765-981-4944
Fax: 765-981-4116

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Swayzee Office

106 South Washington Street

P.O. Box 130 Swayzee, IN 46986

Main office: 765-922-4449
Fax: 765-922-4449

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Upland Office

50 East Berry Avenue

P.O. Box 537 Upland, IN 46989

Main office: 765-998-6053
Fax: 765-998-7083

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Walton Office

112 North Depot Street

Walton, IN 46994

Main office: 574-626-2621
Fax: 574-626-2609

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

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