Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Coverage Enhancements

01 Oct

By

Do you need garagekeepers coverage?

October 1, 2016 | By |

If you run a shop, do some towing, or allow other truckers to park on your premises, you may be held legally liable for a loss to a non-owned auto. A garagekeepers policy provides physical damage coverage for trucks, tractors, or trailers that you do not own but are in your possession for service or storage as part of your garage operations.

Direct primary garagekeepers coverage will compensate the vehicle owner even if you are not responsible for the loss, such as in the case of weather-related damages. This type of coverage can protect your operation and preserve goodwill in your business relationships.

Property-of-others

If you are working on a loaded truck owned by someone else, you can also be liable for any damages to the client’s cargo, including theft; since the cargo doesn’t belong to you, your cargo policy will not respond. A property-of-others endorsement will cover losses to clients’ cargo while their vehicle is in your possession.

For more information on this and other insurance topics and coverage, please call our office.

15 Aug

By

Understanding Automobile Liability Pollution Coverage

August 15, 2013 | By |

The following article was originally written by Craig F. Stanovich, co-founder and principal of Austin & Stanovich Risk Managers, LLC, and is being reprinted with the permission of AmWINS Group, Inc.  It originally appeared in AmWINS’s July 2013 Client Advisory. 

On a rainy Monday morning, the interstate highway has been closed due to a serious traffic accident involving a pickup truck and a truck-tractor hauling a gasoline tank semi-trailer (tanker). The pickup truck driver attempted to pass the tanker, lost control due to the wet conditions, and then cut in front of the tanker, causing both vehicles to veer off the road. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the accident caused the tanker to overturn and split open, releasing its cargo – the gasoline. In addition, the pickup truck’s diesel fuel tank and oil pan ruptured, releasing both diesel fuel and motor oil into the environment. The state environmental authority has issued a cleanup order to both the owner of the pickup truck and the owner of the tanker.

The Pickup Truck

The Auto Liability Policy. The pickup truck is owned by S&S Nurseries, Inc. with liability coverage provided by Green Mutual Insurance Company “Green” via an ISO Business Auto Coverage Form (March, 2006 edition) with no endorsements. S&S has tendered the state’s cleanup demand to Green.

The Denial. Green admits the pickup is a covered auto but categorically denies any responsibility for defense or payments for the cleanup, citing as its basis that cleanup is not “property damage,” the cleanup demand is not a “suit,” the costs of cleanup are not “damages” and that, in any event, the policy excludes pollution.

A Failure to Communicate. Is Green’s denial proper? No. Green has completely failed to consider the second auto liability insuring agreement – a promise to pay “covered pollution cost or expense” caused by an accident resulting from a covered auto. Green has also ignored a critical part of its obligation to defend, which includes a duty to defend alleged “covered pollution cost or expense.”

Pollution Exclusion – Cargo. Despite “covered pollution cost or expense,” certainly the pollution exclusion relieves Green of any responsibility in this matter. But even a cursory review of the pollution exclusion plainly reveals it does no such thing. The pollution exclusion applies only if pollutants are being transported or towed by the auto, moved into or from the auto, stored or processed in the auto, or the pollutants are otherwise in transit by or for S&S. What’s more, the pollution exclusion clearly states it does not apply to the release of fuels or lubricants needed for the normal operation of the auto (such as those contained in the fuel tank and the oil pan).

Pollution Exclusion – The Cargo of Another. Coverage applies to pollutants transported, but not in a covered auto (in this case, the gasoline being transported by the tanker, which is not an S&S covered auto). The pollution exclusion does not apply if the pollutants are released because an S&S auto caused the overturn of the other auto (the tanker), provided the accident does not happen on S&S premises.

Coverage Found. In short, the auto liability policy with Green provides S&S with a defense, as well as coverage (to the extent S&S is liable) for the cost of the cleanup of the diesel fuel, motor oil andgasoline, such cleanup costs subject only to the policy limit.

Covered Pollution Cost or Expense. S&S seems to have received a huge benefit from covered pollution costs or expense. If this provision of the auto liability policy is so all encompassing, why does anyone need to purchase auto pollution liability coverage?

Cleanup. Covered pollution cost or expense includes any cost or expense from any demand or regulatory requirement that an insured must clean up or respond to pollutants. It includes any claims by or on behalf of a government authority, such as the cleanup demand made on S&S by the state environmental authority. Put another way: whether the cost of cleanup may be “damages” because of “property damage” or whether an environmental authority’s demand is a “suit,” or even if S&S’ negligence is irrelevant, the auto liability policy will respond to defend and pay costs, subject to all other policy limitations and exclusions, for the cleanup demand made against S&S by the environmental authority.

Restrictions. Covered pollution cost or expense does have its restrictions. Similar to the pollution exclusion, covered pollution cost or expense does not apply and provides no benefit if the pollutants are being transported or towed by the auto, moved into or from the auto, stored or processed in the auto, or the pollutants are otherwise in transit by or for the insured. Enter the need for the “pollution buy-back” endorsement.

The Tanker

Auto Liability Coverage. The owner of the tanker is Pump & Go, Inc. doing business as P&G, a chain of retail gasoline stations. Auto liability coverage is provided by Gas Haulers Insurance Company via an ISO Business Auto Coverage Form (March, 2006 edition) with several endorsements1, including Pollution Liability – Broadened Coverage for Covered Autos (CA 99 48 03 06 edition). P&G has also tendered the state cleanup demand to Gas Haulers Insurance Company.

Acceptance of Coverage. Gas Haulers Insurance Company accepts the tender of defense by P&G of the environmental authority’s cleanup demand. The claims person handling the P&G claim for Gas Haulers Insurance carefully reviews the second insuring agreement – including the definition of covered pollution cost and expense, as well as the pollution exclusion – and determines up to that point, the policy provides no coverage for P&G as the pollutants were clearly being transported by P&G when released. However, the Gas Haulers Insurance claims person reviews the entire policy, including the “pollution buy-back” which is actually the Pollution Liability – Broadened Coverage for Covered Autos endorsement.

Pollution Buy-Back. This endorsement deletes most of the pollution exclusion from P&G’s Business Auto Liability – resulting in coverage for bodily injury or property damage, provided the liability for bodily injury or property damage is not the liability assumed by P&G in a contract or agreement. In other words, if P&G has assumed the liability of others, regardless of whether the liability assumed is in an “insured contract,” the pollution exclusion continues to apply, even with the “pollution buy-back.”

Covered Pollution Cost or Expense. The “pollution buy-back” also changes the policy definition of covered pollution cost or expense. P&G has the benefit of pollution cost or expense coverage even when the pollutants released are being transported or towed by the auto, moved to or from the auto, stored or processed in the auto, or otherwise in transit by or for P&G. It is because of this change in the definition of covered pollution cost or expense that the Gas Haulers Insurance claims person has accepted the tender of defense on behalf of P&G – the demand for cleanup by the state environmental authority falls squarely within the re-defined (via the “pollution buy-back”) “covered pollution cost or expense.”

Owned Premises. By chance, some of the pollutants that escaped from P&G’s tanker in the accident have migrated onto P&G’s own property – a retail gas station that was near the highway where the accident occurred. Will Gas Haulers Insurance deny the cost of cleaning up P&G’s own property as part of this cleanup demand? The claims person for Gas Haulers Insurance finds an exclusion in P&G’s auto liability policy that applies to property owned by P&G. After originally preparing a letter of denial to P&G, the Gas Haulers Insurance claims person looks more closely at the “pollution buy-back” and notices that it also removes the owned property or “care, custody or control” exclusion of the policy to the extent the claim involves pollutants. Due to this change in the owned property exclusion, Gas Haulers Insurance Company does pay for the cost to clean up P&G’s own property – its retail gasoline station.

Conclusion

In order to understand the need and scope of the auto liability Pollution Liability – Broadened Coverage for Covered Autos (CA 99 48 03 06) endorsement, it is important to first grasp the breadth and restrictions found in the promise to pay “Covered Pollution Cost or Expense.” Auto liability pollution coverage can be fully appreciated only after recognizing how “Covered Pollution Cost or Expense” works in conjunction with the Pollution Liability – Broadened Coverage for Covered Autos.

Editor’s Note

The CA 99 48 may not be made available to all insureds with potential cargo-related pollution exposures. Some insureds may be seeking additional, separate or higher limits and perhaps pollution-related coverage beyond that provided by CA 99 48. In those cases, separate coverage may be arranged.

1 MCS-90 Endorsement can be reviewed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/forms/print/MCS-90.htm

Legal Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is for general guidance of matter only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Discussion of insurance policy language is descriptive only. Every policy has different policy language. Coverage afforded under any insurance policy issued is subject to individual policy terms and conditions. Please refer to your policy for the actual language.

15 Apr

By

The Benefits of Insuring Low Value Equipment

April 15, 2012 | By |

We commonly encounter clients who wish to “self-insure” their low value equipment, including tractors and trailers, for physical damage.  When asked why clients often respond that they assume it will save them money.  While it may be correct that rejecting physical damage coverage for older equipment will create a small savings in terms of monthly premiums, it is also important to consider the costly payout you may face in the event of an accident.

 

Let’s take an example of a tractor that is not insured for physical damage.  In the event of a disabling loss, i.e. one where the tractor cannot be driven away from or the trailer cannot just be hooked on to another rig, in addition to the costs to repair or replace the tractor, an insured should expect to pay costs and associated with the following:

1.)    Towing the equipment to the nearest repair facility

2.)    Storage of the towed equipment until it is determined whether you will repair or simply replace the damaged equipment

3.)    Extraction of pollutants that leaked from the uninsured equipment at the scene of the accident.

4.)    Downtime or equipment rental while your tractor or trailer is being repaired or you are looking for its replacement

5.)    Removal of debris removal and to clean up the scene of the accident.

 

If you take a tractor that is valued at $7,500 and apply a four cent physical damage rate to it (note: physical damage rates do tend to be higher for older equipment) you could expect to pay an annual premium of $300 for that particular vehicle.  In the event of one loss, this premium will easily recouped just in the cost to tow (let alone hook up for towing or store) the tractor. 

 

While insuring lower valued equipment might not be the right decision for every company, it can be very much in the best interest of a company who faces cash reserve challenges or does not have spare equipment on hand to use when their primary vehicle is out of service. 

 

Would you like to weigh the costs of insuring your low value equipment?  Call our office today at (800) 596-TRUCK (8782) to request your free quote.  All of us at the Navigator Truck Insurance Agency work hard at being accessible, helpful and result-oriented.

15 Dec

By

Cargo Coverage Varies Drastically from One Policy to the Next

December 15, 2011 | By |

Reading cargo policies does not normally top our clients list of “things to do”.  They trust me or another one of our agents to provide them with the details they need in order to select the proper cargo policy to meet their business’ needs.  But are you aware of just how much coverage can vary from policy to policy?  Having some familiarity with common coverage exclusions and enhancements can be very helpful, since the needs of your operation can and will change throughout the lifetime of a policy.

 

It may be helpful first to know that each insurance company has the opportunity to file their own version of a cargo policy.  Each of these policies can contain any number of unique exclusions and/or enhancements.  Following are just a few examples of unique commodity exclusions that might exist in any number of cargo policies: furs, garments, electronics, eggs, fresh flowers, seafood, silk, jewelry, pharmaceuticals, cotton ginned within 72 hours, alcohol and tobacco.

Policies may also exclude coverage for certain types of losses, such as those arising from mechanical breakdown of the refrigeration unit (including or excluding driver error) or dampness, rust or wetness.  And many will not provide coverage for niche cargo exposures such as autos, yachts, boats, household goods, motor homes and RVs, livestock and operations as a freight brokers or freight forwarders.

 

Some other common coverage differences include a co-insurance clause (where you are penalized if you under value your cargo), no coverage for newly acquired or substitution vehicles unless they are immediately reported to the insurance company and no cargo coverage if the cargo is loaded on a trailer that is not attached to a tractor at the time of the loss.

 

Further consideration should be given to those additional expenses some insurance companies will provide payment for, above and beyond the policy limits.  Examples include the costs to clean up debris, pollutant clean up and removal, payments to help reduce the loss, coverage for extra expenses to get the freight reloaded and earned freight reimbursement (i.e. reimbursement for the miles you would have invoiced from pick-up to the point of loss that your client likely will not be paying you for.)

 

With so much to consider it’s no wonder we often labor the details of your cargo needs and spend so much time reviewing the details of our proposed cargo coverage.  Do you have questions about your current cargo policy and whether any of the above referenced exclusions or enhancements apply?  Call our office today at (800) 596-TRUCK (8782) to request a policy review.  All of us at the Navigator Truck Insurance Agency work hard at being accessible, helpful and result oriented. 

01 Jan

By

Trends in Physical Damage

January 1, 2010 | By |

 

Over the course of the last year I have seen a significant improvement in the physical damage coverages available to small companies with fewer than five trucks and owner operators who lease their equipment on to a motor carrier. Often referred to as “Physical Damage Enhancements,” many different insurance companies are offering unique coverages that clients can choose to add to their existing physical damage policies for a nominal premium increase.  Some of the most popular coverage enhancements include:

 

Towing or Roadside Repair Allowance for Mechanical Breakdown:  This is a particularly valuable enhancement because it doesn’t require that your truck be in an accident.  It provides coverage for when your truck experiences a mechanical breakdown. The coverage provides an allowance which can be used toward the expense to tow your tractor to a repair facility or for a roadside repair in the event of a mechanical breakdown.

 

Emergency Family Travel Allowance: This endorsement will pay a specified amount toward the travel expenses of a driver’s qualifying family members so that they may travel to the location of an accident in the event that the accident resulted in the driver’s hospitalization or death.

 

Diminishing Deductibles:  This endorsement will reduce the physical damage deductible by a specified amount for each loss free year.  Most companies will waive the deductible entirely once you have been loss free for 4 or more consecutive years (starting from the year this coverage is purchased.)

 

Downtime or Rental Reimbursement:  This endorsement will pay to supplement the loss of income or the additional costs incurred to rent a replacement tractor due to covered loss that left your tractor in the shop for repairs. 

 

Personal Contents: This is a nice enhancement because your personal belongings in the truck are not covered by a typical homeowners or renters policy.    This endorsement provides an allowance to reimburse you in the event that personal contents in your truck are stolen or destroyed due to a covered loss. 

 

Gap Coverage:  Provides coverage so that in the event you owe more on your tractor or trailer than it is worth at the time of loss your bank note will be paid off.  Provides coverage for the gap between what you owe on your equipment and what it is worth at the time of a total loss.  With equipment values depreciating so quickly right now, this is a valuable coverage.

 

Electronic Equipment: Covers permanently installed electronic equipment such as computer systems, fax machines, video cameras, satellite tracking systems, two-way radios and so forth in the event of a covered loss. 

 

Miscellaneous Equipment Coverage:  Provides coverage in the event of a covered loss for items used in the daily course of work such as tarps, chains and binders, but that are not included in the value of the trailer. 

 

Deductibles may apply and limits and coverage terms will vary by insurance company.  To learn more or to request a quote, call us today at (800) 596-TRUCK (8782.)  All of us at the Navigator Truck Insurance Agency work hard at being accessible, helpful and result oriented. 

 

Until next month,

 

Jeffery A. Moss

President

10 Nov

By

Insuring Auxiliary Power Units

November 10, 2009 | By |

With increased fuel costs and changes in idling regulations, many truckers have opted to install auxiliary power units or generators (commonly referred to as APUs) in to their tractors.  The intent of APUs is to reduce costs and, in some cases, comply with environmental regulations.  However, as with any acquisition of new equipment, there is a need to make certain it is included for insurance coverage in the event that it is damaged by a covered loss such as collision, fire or theft. 

 

There are two ways to provide physical damage coverage for an APU.  The option you choose will be determined, in part, by answering the following questions:

 

Question #1:

Was the APU installed at the factory and cannot be removed from the tractor?

 

If the answer to this question is “yes,” then you may want to insure the APU on the tractor’s physical damage policy.  To do so you would include the value of the APU in the tractor’s value.  In the event of a covered total loss, you would be paid the value of the tractor (including the APU) less your deductible.  In the event of a covered partial loss, you would receive the amount to restore the tractor (including the APU) back to pre-loss condition, less your deductible.

 

Question #2:

Was the APU installed after the tractor was purchased or can it be removed from the tractor?

 

If the answer to this question is “yes,” then you may wish to insure your APU on an inland marine policy.  An inland marine policy provides physical damage coverage for the APU (as well as any other equipment you chose to schedule on the policy) for those perils outlined in the policy.  Common perils include vehicle accidents, theft, fire and vandalism.  The inland marine policy provides coverage for the APU wherever it is at the time of loss.  A benefit of this type of policy is that if the tractor is considered a total loss by the physical damage policy’s standards, but the APU is not damaged or sustains only minor damage, you can take the APU out and install it into your next tractor.  Also, the deductibles for inland marine policies tend to be lower than those for a physical damage policy. 

 

At the Navigator Truck Insurance Agency we work hard at being helpful, accessible and result oriented.  Is your APU properly insured?  Give us a call today at (800) 596-TRUCK (8782) and we will be happy to review your options with you.

 

Until next month,

 

Jeffery A. Moss

President

17 Jul

By

Avoiding Gaps in Coverage for Hired Equipment

July 17, 2009 | By |

It is bound to happen.  Your tractor is in the shop so you have to rent a truck to complete this week’s runs or you get a great opportunity to haul a load of ice cream, but first need to borrow a buddy’s reefer unit.  Many times the arrangements are made at the last minute while trying to secure a load that needs to go out right now!  In the rush we can forget to think through the mechanics of it all, specifically whose insurance is going to respond if there were an instance when the loaned equipment was involved in an accident.I often hear from clients (too frequently after the fact) that they assumed the other party’s insurance would pay, but that is not always the case.  Insurance doesn’t necessarily follow a piece of equipment no matter who is operating or pulling it.  And, even if it were to, it is important to consider the ramifications to a business relationship or friendship if damage was to occur.  Too often it happens that each party wants the other’s insurance to pay.  

 

As a rule we encourage our clients to round out their truck policy by adding hired and non-owned auto liability insurance and hired physical damage so that they are prepared for these eventualities.  Here is how it works:

Hired Auto Liability:  This coverage extends the auto liability coverage to include power units you have rented or short term leased (usually defined as a less than 30-days.)    

Non-Owned Auto Liability:  This coverage extends the auto liability coverage to include non-owned vehicles being operated for the benefit of your company.  Non-owned meaning that you have not hired it (rented or leased it).  This often takes the form of an employee operating their own vehicle while running an errand for the business.  For example: running to the bank, post office or office supply store

Hired Physical Damage:  This coverage extends the physical damage coverage to include equipment you have rented, borrowed or short term leased (usually defined as less than 30-days.) 

To learn more about these coverages or to request a quote, call us today at (800) 596-TRUCK (8782).  All of us at the Navigator Truck Insurance Agency work hard at being accessible, helpful and result oriented.

Until next month,

Jeffery A. Moss

President

15 May

By

The Secret to a Great Deal

May 15, 2009 | By |

At least once each quarter I speak with a client who says they received a proposal from another agent and that the premium is just too good to be true!  In many cases, this leads the client to have concerns whether their coverages are adequate and I am asked to review the proposal to see what kind of coverage they’ve been quoted.  What I often find are large coverage gaps that the client didn’t realize existed. 

 

This month I’d like to reveal some of the common coverage weakness that I come across and what impact these missing coverages might have in the event of a claim:

 

Lower Auto Liability Limits:  While it is true that $750,000 is the limit you are required to carry by the FMCSA, most contracts and shippers will require a certificate of insurance showing a $1,000,000 limit.  In many cases a $750,000 limit is not going to reduce your premium significantly, but could cost you business, time and additional money later when you need to amend coverages midterm.

 

Coordination of Benefits:  Some agents will ask you about your health insurance, workers compensation and occupational accident policies when quoting your liability insurance.  One reason is that they may be coordinating your benefits.  That means that in the event that you are injured in an accident, your health insurance, workers’ compensation or occupational accident policies will respond first.  While it may be preferable for your workers’ compensation or occupational accident policies to pay for your injuries, it is normally advisable not to coordinate your health insurance with your auto insurance.  The primary reason for this is that health insurance policies often have lifetime limits.  So, in the event that your health insurance’s lifetime benefit limit is $750,000 and you are badly injured in an accident, incurring $650,000 in medical bills, this leaves only $100,000 left on your health insurance policy.  What would happen if three months after you have recuperated from your accident you learn that you have been diagnosed with cancer?  You will likely wish you had all $750,000 available to you, rather than just the remaining $100,000.

 

No Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability: Some agents will leave this coverage off in order to reduce premium.  However, not having Non-Owned Auto Liability can be dangerous, as it leaves you open to law suits in the event that an individual in their own car is involved in an accident while working for you (i.e. performing a company errand.)  It may be argued that because the driver would not have been on the road had they not been completing the errand, it is your responsibility to pay for the auto liability they caused.  Non-owned Auto Liability coverage is a very low cost option to insure yourself against such unforeseeable events.  Hired Auto Liability, on the other hand, will provide you with Auto Liability for tractors that you have borrowed or short term rented.  The cost for this coverage is significantly less than if you purchase it from the truck rental company and including on the policy from the beginning means you won’t be running around at the last moment trying to secure coverage.

 

Swapping Comprehensive Physical Damage for Specified Perils:  Check to make certain that your Physical Damage policy includes Comprehensive coverage, as opposed to Specified Perils.  Comprehensive will cover you for any sort of Physical Damage claim (other than collision), while Specified Perils will only cover you for those that are named in the policy.  There can be a number of unforeseeable losses, such as vandalism, that you may wish to be insured for.  Specified Perils may be less premium than Comprehensive, but the coverage is also significantly reduced.

 

No Broad Form Collision:  In the State of Michigan we are subject to no fault laws.  The downside to this law is that if another person is at fault in a collision, you do not have the right to pursue damages by taking that person to court.  Instead, your physical damage policy is used to repair your vehicle.  Broad Form Collision seeks to limit the amount you have to pay in the event that you are not at fault for a collision, as your deductible for repair will be waived.  If you have a physical damage policy with Standard Collision, you have to pay your deductible regardless of who was at fault.

 

No Hired Physical Damage Coverage:  Hired Physical Damage is a nice feature to have on a policy, as it will make certain you have coverage up to a specified amount for any tractors or trailers that you have rented for a short period of time (usually 31 days or less).  Again, in most cases, the cost for this coverage is significantly less than what you would pay if you bought it through the equipment rental company. 

 

Co-Insurance Clauses:  While co-insurance might not make your premium less, it is often the byproduct of a discounted policy premium.  Be careful to investigate any hidden clauses on the Cargo or Physical Damage policies.  Ask your agent specifically whether or not co-insurance applies, or if there are higher deductibles for losses caused by theft or refrigeration breakdown. 

 

No or Limited Towing Coverage:  The cost to tow a tractor and/or trailer from the scene of an accident can easily exceed $10,000.  While most policies will include some sort of towing coverage, it is not always clear how much.  When reviewing a proposal ask about towing limits.  Many policies cap payments on towing at $3,000 to $5,000.  And remember, there is no towing coverage if you do not purchase Physical Damage.

 

Few or No Physical Damage Enhancements:  These are the optional coverages that we often find clients want or expect in their policies, but do not realize must be listed on the policy.  Under this heading falls coverages for things such as rental reimbursement and downtime coverage, tarps/chains/binders, personal effects, diminishing deductibles and emergency family travel.  In many cases the cost for such enhancements is minimal. 

 

No General Liability: General Liability is an optional coverage that indemnifies you in the event that your company is liable for bodily injury or property damage to a third party.  This is for occurrences away from the tractor.  One feature of having a General Liability policy is that it automatically includes legal representation in the event that someone brings a suit against you (the premium is significantly less than it would cost to hire and retain an attorney.)  Also, General Liability coverage is frequently required in contracts or by shippers before the trucking company is allowed on the shipper’s premises. 

 

Misidentifying Radius of Operations:  Unfortunately from time to time we do see radius of operations misrepresented on a proposal.  An example of this is when an insurance company restricts the number of times per year you can exceed a predefined radius (normally 300 or 500 miles.)  If you routinely travel outside of the radius you have been rated for it is considered falsification of information on the applications and is grounds for midterm rate increases, cancellation of policy or even rejection of claims.

 

All of us at the Navigator Truck Insurance Agency work hard at being accessible, helpful and result oriented.  Need help understanding your “great deal”?  Give us a call at (800) 596-TRUCK (8782).  We’d be happy to help you out any way we can.  

 

Until next month,

 

Jeffery A. Moss, ARM

President

 

15 Mar

By

Insuring Your Home Away from Home

March 15, 2009 | By |

Life on the road is hard. . . long hours and days away from family and friends.  It’s no wonder that many truck drivers these days try to duplicate some of the comforts of home in their truck.  And it goes well beyond staples such as clothing and food.  It is now common for a long haul trucker to carry his laptop, portable printer, television and DVD player in the tractor with him.

But what happens in the event that your tractor is stolen or involved in a serious loss that also damages such personal possessions?  Can you make a claim on your truck insurance policy or do you have to chalk it up to a loss?  The good news is that there are a number of ways to insure such possessions in the event of theft or damage. 

Many insurance companies now offer endorsements to add Personal Contents coverage.  Personal Contents coverage provides limits up to a specified amount (usually in the ballpark of $2,500) for a driver’s personal possessions.  These endorsements will require the insured to pay a small deductible (such as $250) on any claims paid. 

Another option is to purchase an Inland Marine policy.  This policy can be purchased separately from the Physical Damage policy (which means you can buy it even if you choose not to carry Physical Damage on your truck.)  The coverage will follow your property everywhere it goes and also requires a deductible to be paid per covered loss.  Deductibles normally range somewhere between $250 and $1,000.  Benefits of the Inland Marine policy include the ability to schedule the items you are insuring and being able to purchase higher limits than what are available on the Personal Contents endorsement available through a Physical Damage policy.  Also, claims made on the Inland Marine policy do not show up on the Physical Damage loss history, which is nice in the event that you experience a theft of your personal contents, without having damage to the truck.

One final option that we often see overlooked is to endorse a coverage for your personal belongings in your truck to your Homeowners or Renters policy.  That can work, too. 

As with all policies, you will want to carefully consider the terms, conditions, exclusions and cost of these options before making a final decision.  If we can help, give us a call at (800) 596-TRUCK (8782).  We’d be happy to help you out any way we can.  All of us at the Navigator Truck Insurance Agency work hard at being accessible, helpful and result oriented. 

Until next month,

Jeffery A. Moss, ARM

President

 

15 Oct

By

Gap Coverage

October 15, 2008 | By |

<!–[endif]–>

In my dealings with clients and prospective clients I am frequently asked how in today’s market, with equipment values depreciating faster than loan balances, a person can guarantee their insurance will payoff the balance of the loan in the event of a total loss?

The answer is gap coverage.

Gap coverage provides additional coverage in excess of the actual cash value of your tractor or trailer, increasing the limit to be equal to the payoff amount of the loan at the time of loss.

These days, many companies make gap coverage available to their clients for a minimal premium, while others even offer it as a standard feature of their physical damage policy. And, this is a coverage that can be added to your policy in the middle of the policy period.

Take a quick look at your loan balance today and see how it compares to the actual cash value of your truck as of today’s date. If the loan balance exceeds your actual cash value, gap coverage is something you owe it to yourself to investigate. When you are ready, give us at a call at (800) 596-TRUCK (8782.) We will review your policy and assist you in putting your gap coverage in place!

Until next month,

Jeffery A. Moss
President