EPA’s Latest Initiative – Phase 2 Heavy-Duty National Program

Posted April 4, 2017 by Administrator

Fuel-efficiency and carbon pollution standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks in America were finalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last year. These new standards, which will go into effect by the year 2027, will improve the fuel efficiency of commercial motor carriers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby bolstering energy security and saving vehicle owners substantial fuel costs.

The program, called the “Final Phase 2 Program” is designed to promote a cleaner, more efficient trucking industry by encouraging the application of currently-available technologies and the development of new technologies that will produce cost-effective remedies by the year 2027. The EPA is projecting that the new imperatives will have a lasting positive effect for the industry, the entire economy and public health.

  • CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by 1.1 billion metric tons,
  • $170 billion will be saved in fuel costs,
  • oil consumption will be reduced by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program,
  • the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 is expected to recoup the investment in fuel-efficient technology within two years of purchase,
  • $230 billion in net benefits to society, including benefits to our climate and the public health of Americans.

Heavy-duty trucks generate the most greenhouse gas emissions and use the most energy in the U.S. transportation sector. They currently account for 20 percent of GHG emissions and oil use.

The EPA and NHTSA continue to work on fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for trailers. They are expected to take effect as soon as 2018 for certain trailers, while other trailers will have until 2021 to comply. Credits will be available for those who wish to voluntary participate before the final deadline. Types of technologies that are being considered for the standards include:

  • aerodynamic devices,
  • light-weight construction, and
  • self-inflating tires.

The agencies who were involved in developing the new Final Phase 2 Program are very excited about the new U.S. national standards that were developed with input from a variety of sources including trucking industry, labor and environmental leaders.

To learn more on transportation industry news, trucking coverages, and risk management, contact us.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

What To Do If Your Trucking Insurance is Non-Renewed

Posted March 28, 2017 by Administrator

Despite popular belief, insurance cancellations are actually more common than you might think. Perhaps you’ve received a notice that reads something like:

“Attention: Your current insurance policy is being non-renewed due to…”

While a non-renewal notice is something you should take seriously, it typically will not negatively impact your ability to find alternate insurance. Here are some facts you should know before securing a new insurance policy and what to do so that you keep your trucking operations running seamlessly.

Why the Non-Renewal?

A non-renewal is not the same as a cancellation. Unlike a cancellation notice, and non-renewal notice is generally issued when there is a change with the insurance carrier. For example, the insurance carrier may no longer write in your state or has left the market completely, which are circumstances outside of your control.

However, if the reason for your non-renewal notice is due to late or non-payment of premiums, an increase in the frequency or severity of claims, or poor inspection reports or compliance issues, your ability to find new insurance may be impacted.

What Should You Do Next?

You’ve received a non-cancellation notice 30-90 days before your renewal date, so use your time wisely. If you’re insured directly through the carrier, finding a new insurance company may be tricky. It is now your responsibility to find and secure new insurance before your current policy is expired.

If you’re insured through an insurance agency, it is likely your agent is already aware of the situation and will be working to find a replacement company that is best suited for your circumstances.

If you were insured through a carrier and will be shopping around for a new carrier, we recommend you have the following information ready.

  • Driver schedule

Name, driver’s license number, date of birth, hire date, number of years of CDL experience for each driver

  • Vehicle schedule

Year and make of each vehicle, VIN numbers, and value of each of your tractor/trailers

  • IFTA

Last four (4) quarters of Fuel Tax Reports (mileage broken down by state)

  • Loss runs

Loss runs for the last three (3) years

  • Financial information

Financials for the most recent year

  • Insurance certificate

Your most recent insurance certificate that shows your current coverage

  • Commodities hauled

List top 3 – 4 commodities hauled

  • Safety information

Safety director’s name and experience, a copy of your safety manual, copy of driver guidelines, and any safety equipment

Cline Wood represents top trucking and agribusiness insurance carriers across the country. We have access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

U.S. Senate Subcommittee Hears Testimony on Improving Truck Safety on our Nation’s Highways

Posted March 21, 2017 by Administrator

On March 14, 2017, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security featured panelists for a hearing on continuing to improve safety for truckers on our country’s highways. Advancements in truck safety and potential future reforms as well as a full range of perspectives on implementation of safety programs were primary focal points. Other opportunities and challenges facing the trucking industry were also expected.

Here is a list of the panelists included at this hearing.

  • Christopher A Hart, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board
  • Paul P. Jovanis, Professor Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University; Chair, Transportation Research Board Committee
  • Jerry Moyes, Chairman Emeritus, Swift Transportation
  • Adrian Lund, President, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The hearing was held in the Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements and a recorded video of the hearing is available here.

The testimony given by panelists from government, academia and industry focused on the following 3 issues:

  1. Advocacy for fully funding Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and reforms moving forward,
  2. Opposition to legislative reforms by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA), and
  3. Asking for congressional action to improve motor coach safety.

Committee members were presented with an overview of the challenges facing local and state law enforcement in an uncertain funding environment. Captain Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol and Vice President of the CVSA, testified about his concerns related to the potential consequences of job loss and cuts to outreach and educational programs that would occur if the states lose Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Basic and Incentive Grants this year.

Cline Wood represents top trucking and agribusiness insurance carriers across the country. We have access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Understanding Crop Insurance

Posted March 14, 2017 by Administrator

Crop insurance is a vital part of operating a farm. It allows for competition and innovation while offering protection from the unexpected. This way, farmers can stay in business in the event that their crops fail. Many crop insurance policies are customizable, so farmers can shape their policy to address their specific risks. U.S. farmers have two types of crop insurance available to them: Crop Hail Insurance and Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI).

Crop Hail Insurance

Farmers receive these policies from private insurers rather than the Federal Crop Insurance Program. Farmers can purchase this type of policy at any time during the growing season. Farmers opt to purchase this type of insurance because hail has the exceptional ability to damage substantial sections of planted fields while leaving the remainder untouched. The main purpose of this policy is to safeguard high-yielding crops in hail-prone areas.

Multiple Peril Crop Insurance

Unlike Crop Hail Insurance, farmers must purchase MPCI policies before they begin planting their crops. This type of insurance covers a variety of natural disasters such as:

  • Drought
  • Disease
  • Frost
  • Too much moisture

There are only 18 private companies authorized to write MPCI policies under the Federal Crop Insurance Program. The United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA RMA) regulates the Federal Crop Insurance Program and determines what rates insurers can charge. The RMA also decides which crops these private companies can insure in which parts of the country.

Farmers cannot afford to neglect their insurance coverage. They also need a variety of insurance policies to protect their business. As a leading provider of agribusiness insurance, Cline Wood can help farmers identify risks to their investment as well as provide services tailored to address their specific needs. Contact us to learn more.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Insurance Claim Subrogation – How It Helps Get $$$ Back For You

Posted March 13, 2017 by Erin

Insurance Claim Subrogation

How It Helps Get $$$ Back For You

Your company driver was recently involved in an accident that wasn’t his fault. You promptly reported the claim to your insurance carrier, and the claim adjuster just paid the repair shop a significant amount to repair your tractor/trailer.   But shouldn’t the other driver that caused the accident (and his insurance carrier) have to reimburse your insurance carrier for what was paid on the claim?  The answer is yes, and the skilled staff in your insurance carrier’s Subrogation Department is there to help with this process.

 

The term “subrogation” in general terms refers to the process by which a debt is collected from another person or company. A more formal definition is “The substitution of one person or entity for another, especially when the substituted party becomes responsible for a debt or legal claim.”[1] Typically a Subrogation Department does not come into the picture until your insurance carrier has paid your claim.  Common types of claims that are referred to a Subrogation Department include physical damage, cargo, auto accidents, and all types of liability scenarios where another party appears to be at fault based upon the claim investigation.

 

The Subrogation Department representative assisting you will typically send a demand package to the at-fault driver and/or their insurance carrier. This demand package includes documentation obtained during the claim investigation which confirms who is responsible for the accident (example: police report), details regarding how much was paid on the claim, and a request for prompt payment.  Expenses that can be part of a demand include: deductible amount, lost downtime or rental expense, medical bills, hotel bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the accident.

 

Every year insurance carrier Subrogation Departments recover hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of their insureds. The money recovered is credited to the corresponding claim files, helping put their insureds back in a pre-accident financial condition.  If you should have any questions about the Subrogation process, please contact your insurance carrier, your assigned claim adjuster, or Cline Wood Agency at 888-451-3900.

[1] Source: “subrogation.” thefreedictionary.com. 2003-2017. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/subrogation (14 Feb. 2017)

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

 

Developing Your Safety Culture

Posted March 13, 2017 by Erin

Developing Your Safety Culture

The most important thing your company can do to prevent costly accidents and injuries to not only your workers, but also others out on the road, is to develop a strong Safety Culture. Below are 10 key steps adapted from the experts at OSHA that will help put your company on the right track.[1]

 

    1. ALWAYS SET SAFETY AND HEALTH AS THE TOP PRIORITY Communicate on a regular basis to your drivers, independent contractors, and all other workers that making sure they practice good safety habits and go home healthy at the end of each day is very important and the way your company does business.
    2. LEAD BY EXAMPLE Ownership, management, and supervisors must also practice good safety habits, and make safety part of daily conversation and company communications.
    3. IMPLEMENT A REPORTING SYSTEM Develop and communicate an easy to follow reporting procedure for drivers and all other workers to report any injuries, accidents, illnesses, near misses, hazards, or safety concerns. Include an option to report anonymously.
    4. PROVIDE TRAINING Train drivers and all other workers on how to safely do their jobs, prevent accidents, and identify any potential hazards in the workplace or out on the road. Conduct regular follow-up training.
    5. CONDUCT INSPECTIONS While your insurance carrier may send a loss control consultant to conduct a survey from time to time, it’s important that you regularly conduct your own self-inspections to quickly identify and address potential hazards.
    6. COLLECT HAZARD CONTROL IDEAS Ask your drivers and other workers for ideas and suggestions for improvement. They are the ones that typically know what the potential issues are, but may not ever speak up.  Provide them time during work hours if necessary in order to encourage their input.
    7. SEEK INPUT ON WORKPLACE CHANGES  If you don’t already have a Safety Committee, form one. Include good drivers on the Safety Committee. They should meet regularly, review all incident reports and suggestions, and also provide their own insight.
    8. ADDRESS EMERGENCIES Identify any foreseeable emergency scenarios (examples include fire, hazardous spills, and weather events), and develop specific instructions on what to do in each case. Once completed and approved by Management these should be included in all training and posted in visible locations within the workplace.

[1] Source: https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/ten-easy-things.html

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

 

Reducing Environmental Damage Caused by Commercial Trucks in the US: A Worthwhile Objective

Posted March 7, 2017 by Administrator

The environmental impact of the trucking industry has escalated concerns among shippers, carriers, environmentalists, and state and federal governing bodies. Authorities in freight shipping have responded to recent studies on the effects of climate change in the last decade by taking measures to reduce carbon footprint. Even though the new government has promised to ease regulations, the trend toward environmentally-friendly shipping practices is still relevant and beneficial in terms of environmental burdens and accelerated resource depletion as well as decreasing shipping rates.

The measures implemented by authorities include green shipping practices and new regulations designed to minimize the impact of trucks on the environment. For example, a new set of fuel economy regulations was issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015. The new regulations will require fleet-wide modifications for may shipping providers. The regulations go into effect in 2018; the deadline for full compliance is 2021.

The trucking industry has a long way to go to fully embrace the vision of a green industry by its leaders. Every day in America thousands of trucks travel countless miles, all the while consuming massive amounts of fuel and oil and polluting the air with CO2. Technological advances in the industry are expected to support environmental protection improvements. Investors are taking an interest in new innovations that will clearly reduce emissions.

Autonomous trucks have captured news headlines and the imagination of the American public simultaneously. Expected benefits of these so-called “driverless vehicles” include better controls on speed as well as improved fuel efficiency.

Real-time tracking of delivery trucks is another important technological advancement in the industry. Real-time tracking will improve efficient routing, which translates into less fuel consumption. Emerging big data solutions being implemented by freight providers include filling trucks and minimizing deadhead return trips, which in turn reduces fuel consumption on every pound of freight.

New technologies in the market involve engine management systems that control idling time during driver downtime. These innovative technologies enable trucks to maintain a comfortable temperature without idling the engine, thus saving fuel.

Other trucking-related innovations that are already available and are environmentally-friendly include:

  • aerodynamic panels
  • wide base tires
  • low viscosity lubricants
  • exhaust system upgrades
  • eco flaps
  • auxiliary power units
  • speed limitations, and
  • liquid natural gas powering.

Drivers themselves can increase the efficiency of their trips by paying attention to fuel consumption. Reducing speed by as little as 5 miles per hour can have a significant impact on lowering their fuel consumption. Taking the time to slow down before stopping and increasing speed slowly when accelerating as well as shifting gears progressively can lower fuel consumption by 5-10 percent.

Fleet managers can start by keeping their trucks well-maintained, which will optimize efficiency. Hybrid technology may be a viable option for some fleets. Less aggressive driving practices will set the stage for lowering fuel consumption as well as improving safety for drivers.

There is a long, costly process ahead in the trucking industry toward achieving the vision of a greener freight industry in the U.S. That said, many new innovations in the industry will not only reduce emissions but will also reduce costs and improve the safety of U.S. roadways. It’s time for the trucking industry to make a conscious effort to reduce the negative effects of pollution and over-consumption of fossil fuels. Not only is it the right thing to do, but making an effort to reduce the carbon footprint will improve the bottomline of trucking companies, large and small.

Hidden Risks for Dairy Farmers

Posted February 23, 2017 by Administrator

Many dairy farmers’ top priority is their cows’ projected milk yield. They focus on elements that affect their cows’ health and wellbeing such as preventing common diseases and providing proper housing for the animals. Many are expecting a higher yield of milk by pounds per cow. This is largely due to enhanced nutrient content and digestibility of 2016’s forage crops. However, unexpected challenges threaten this projection.

Harvest Delays and Grain Maturation

The 2016 corn silage and high moisture harvest pose certain risks to dairy farmers. For one, harvesting was delayed. This resulted in the plants and grains maturing past their optimal stages. This contributed to diminished nutrition quality of the harvest, which has a direct effect on dairy cows and their milk output.

Defensive Tactics

There are numerous options available to dairy farmers to combat this issue. Unfortunately, decreased dairy performance is rarely a single-culprit issue. Multiple factors often combine to reduce the animals’ health as well as milk output. Some of these are anti-nutrition factors such as mold, yeast, and toxins.

Other elements are bacteria-based. Sometimes, feed or other toxins found on the farm can overwhelm an already nutritionally deficient cow. Other times, excessive starch in the animals’ diets can create the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to take over in the intestines and hindgut. The best way to avoid this scenario is by dairy farmers, consultants, and trusted veterinarians working together.

Outside factors affecting production is not unique to dairy farmers. Nearly all trades that fall under the agribusiness umbrella will feel the sting of external influences on their bottom line at some point. While these companies can take steps to work together and mitigate these issues, having appropriate insurance is vital. Cline Wood is the paramount provider of agribusiness insurance products. We treat your business as our own and provide customized services to meet your needs. Contact us to learn more.

TMPS for a Safer Fleet

Posted February 16, 2017 by Administrator

Maintaining proper tire pressure is a major component of vehicle maintenance for many commercial truck drivers. However, frigid winter temperatures can make some drivers prone to taking shortcuts while manually checking their tire pressure. For example, they may opt to check only the outer tire of a dual tire set up. It can be difficult to access the inner tire, and many drivers assume the pressure is about the same as the outer tire.

Having a tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) can provide data for all tires, inner and outer, with much higher precision than a manual check. This will make life on the road easier for many truck drivers. TMPSs can also reduce safety risks related to inadequate tire pressure monitoring such as blowouts and longer stopping distances.

In addition to improving transportation safety, TMPSs provide the following benefits:

  • Reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Underinflated tires reduce fuel efficiency and increase emission output. Fuel costs are one of the greatest expenses of operating a fleet, which is why improving fuel efficiency is a common concern among fleet managers.
  • Improved lifespan of tires and tread. Underinflated tires have irregular wear patterns and can affect re-treading. Ensuring tires have the appropriate pressure can improve the duration of any given set of tires.
  • Reduced frequency of broken down trucks. About two-thirds of road calls relate to tires. The costs associated with these kinds of calls include servicing the vehicle, replacing the tire casings if necessary, and lost productivity/business.

Making use of TMPS can save fleets a considerable amount of money. However, ensuring driver safety is the paramount benefit. Reducing transportation risks is an excellent way to reduce insurance costs as well. As a national commercial property and casualty insurance agency that serves the commercial trucking industries, Cline Wood can help fleet owners manage their risk to improve their bottom line. Contact us today to learn more.

Know the Risks Your Agribusiness Faces

Posted February 9, 2017 by Administrator

Agribusinesses face a variety of risks that other businesses do not. Some risks, such as events that affect pricing, are the same for all institutions. Other risks are unique to agriculture-based businesses, such as farming. If you own an agribusiness, you need to familiarize yourself with all of the risks that can affect your company. Below are some of the common risk factors farmers face.

Price Risk

Problems with pricing often occur after a farmer has already committed to production. Production is a lengthy process for agribusinesses. For example, farmers must invest in feed and equipment to produce the best possible livestock. It can take months or even years to see a return on their investment. During this period in time, global and local market pricing can shift and have a dramatic effect on farmers’ bottom line.

Production Risk

Agribusinesses face distinctive production risks compared to other industries. Some examples include harsh weather, droughts, insects, and a variety of other environmental factors. These elements are uncontrollable and sometimes unpredictable, which can hinder production output.

Institutional Risk

Changes to government policies can affect multiple industries. For farmers, the biggest risks come with changes to regulations regarding how they grow their crops and raise their livestock as this can have a significant effect on production costs. Other changes that can affect farmers are rules regarding manure disposal, conservation and land use mandates, or tax law updates.

Agribusinesses cannot afford to ignore these risks. The best way to reduce risk is to invest in the proper types and amount of insurance. To learn more about how insurance can reduce your agribusiness’ risk, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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