The Navigator Blog

Hours of Service Q & A:

Acuity Insurance Company recently published an article answer common questions regarding the new Hours of Service rules that took effect July 1, 2013.  With their permission, we are reprinting the article here for your reference:   The first phase of Hours of Service (HOS) changes mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) took affect February 27, 2012, adding new criteria for on-duty time and penalties for exceeding allowable time.  The second phase took effect July 1, 2013, and included more restrictive rules in two areas: mandating rest breaks and limiting “restarts.”   Here are the answers to some

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Understanding Automobile Liability Pollution Coverage

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.

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Creating a Compliant Authorized Passenger Policy

Frequently clients inquire about the limitations and allowances of passengers inside their truck.  We at the Navigator Truck Insurance Agency recommend that non-employee passengers not be allowed in vehicles operated under your authority.  However, if a passenger program is considered an essential element in the retention of quality drivers, we recommend that you have a well planned, well documented, and consistently followed passenger policy in place as a risk management practice to reduce your exposure to claims made by non-employee passengers.  In addition a passenger policy should also comply with requirements outlined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. Per

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EEOC Issues Guidelines Pertaining to Criminal Checks

Are you one of the many employers (some studies say up to 92%) who use criminal background checks as a part of the hiring process?  If so, you may wish to re-evaluate this process and proceed with great caution.  Many employers rely upon these checks to keep their clients, employees, resources and the general public safe.  However, recently adapted new guidelines, published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in April 2012, make clear that companies should be particularly careful when referencing criminal backgrounds during the hiring process. While the EEOC does not include ex-offenders as a protected class under

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Michigan Now Using 20-Factor Test to Identify Independent Contactors

Motor Carriers, and other companies, operating in Michigan please take note:  Effective January 2013 Michigan’s Workers’ Compensation Agency Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs began using the IRS’s “20-Factor Test” to determine if an individual is an independent contactor or an employee of an organization. Employers must comply with state and federal employment and tax laws, including withholding certain taxes, contributing toward unemployment and providing workers compensation insurance for employees; requirements which would not apply to independent contractor’s whose services are being hired by the motor carrier. It is vital that organizations who utilize the services of independent contractor’s familiarize

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Jason’s Law

Jason’s Law   Recently out on the road I passed a truck with a sign posted on his truck that read, “I support Jason’s Law.”  Working so close to the trucking industry, I was a little embarrassed that I was not familiar with this law.  A quick Google search informed me that “Jason’s Law” is and initiative to provide increased safety for our hard working truck drivers while out on the road.  The bill was passed by the Senate on March 13, 2012 by a 74 to 22 vote. For anyone unfamiliar, here is a run down of how the

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