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Risky Business

Are you In or Out?

By Shelly Benisch, CIC
Posted Nov 29th 2011 3:34AM


Hi Everyone, I thought I'd shift gears today to address a growing phenomenon in our Expediting Community...Owner Operators who are "taking a vacation" or "leaving the biz" but attempting to "restart their business" a few months later. 

It's your decision, of course, on how to run your're an Independent Contractor after all.  But knowing the consequences of "stopping & starting" and "paying on time" may help with your choice.

When you purchase your Expediting Insurance, the Insurance Company is "making a bet" that you're a "good risk" based on your driving track record from your MVR.  But they also look at your history of "responsibility".

Believe it or not, those people with a history of financial responsibility have markedly less accidents...I know, hard to believe, but I've seen the statistics for 10 years now.

Insurance Companies offer large discounts for people who pay their bills on time and have proof of Liability Insurance for the past year, with NO LAPSE IN COVERAGE.

So when you "cancel your policy" with the plan of "restarting it later" you will no longer receive that discount when you come back.  Your premium becomes far higher than it would have been if you'd left the policy in place for the full year...even if you weren't "using it".

It works the same way with "paying on time".  If you're chronically late on your payment, so that your Motor Carrier you're leased on to receives notices of cancellation month after month...they are ALSO less inclined to see you as "responsible". 

I've been told by dispatchers that if there's a load that could go to two or three Owner Operators, he's going to contact the one he feels is most "in control" of his life.  He's not going to call the one that he needs to "double-check his insurance is OK" since he's chronically in cancellation.

At the end of the day, sometimes it's a good thing to ask yourself, "Am I in or am I out?"  Am I a stable, responsible Contractor running an established business?  Do I come across as experienced and a safe risk to others?

As I said in my opening, it's your decision of course....that's the beauty of self- employment in America...we can all make our own choices in life!

Warm Regards,

Shelly Benisch, CIC   Commercial Insurance Solutions, Inc. (CIS)


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