Time To Read John Mueller's Blog
If you've been following John Mueller's blogs, you'll know he's easily one of the top 3 in our Expediting Community in solid Safety and FMCSA knowledge. I encourage everyone to take a minute now to read his current blog, "Accidents and Incidents Part 3" (below left).
He paints a clear picture of what actually happens in the real world in a messy claim. Is it scary? Yes, it is - and it's accurate. We HAVE these claims on our books now.
Look, I've said it so many times now I feel like a broken record. Incorrect or inadequate insurance is a problem in our Expediting Community. John further explains in his blog the exposure to the Owner Operator from a different angle. Please read it.
Of course, there's always the off the cuff response, "Screw it, let them sue me - I don't have that much to lose, or I'll go bankrupt."
Well, if you have the wrong insurance and are sued and lose, the repercussions can be life changing. An angry attorney will pursue monies they see as due with the support of the courts. This unpaid cloud of debt can follow you the rest of your life, there is no "end time" of collection while you're alive.
If you don't want to take the chance of jeopardizing everything you have and everything you hope to have in the future then remember this:
Insurance is the Remedy for Lawsuit
For all of the "multi" Owner Ops out there who think they're covered in a claim because they have an agent who will promise "Unlimited", "Nationwide Claims Coverage" or "Primary", you may be in for a most unpleasant surprise.
Here's the 2 questions I ask, in writing, to Corporate Headquarters of ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES regarding the Multis coverage:
- Is your (Insurance Company Name) Commercial Auto Liability policy Non-Contributory? In other words, does the policy pay FIRST AS PRIMARY without searching for coverage on the Motor Carrier's policy?
- Does the (Insurance Company Name) Cargo policy include the Motor Carrier with full rights to the Cargo? In other words, Cargo is shipped via Motor Carrier to Motor Carrier...the Owner Operator's name is never on the Bill of Lading and the term "Additional Insured" does not apply to Cargo, just Liability. When the Cargo is lost, there are no rights to that Cargo unless your name is on it. So in the event of a Cargo Claim, does the (Insurance Company Name) policy recognize "the new structure" and still pay the claim...has the policy LANGUAGE been adapted to comply?
Other than Progressive and National Interstate, as of this writing I have yet to find ANY OTHER Insurance Corporate Headquarters who will agree to these stipulations in writing and promise to fulfill insurance coverage for Expediters as needed.
However I have received numerous Vociferous negative responses that coverage will NOT pay from companies including Allstate, American Family, Auto Owners, Farmers, Grange, State Farm and several others....take your pick. It's amazing to me that so many people seem to think otherwise and are willing to take this huge gamble.
John Mueller's blog explains what can happen when someone really does think they have correct insurance coverage. I leave you all to imagine what happens when the Insurance Company has a handy small print exclusion to bow out on when the big bucks are involved.
Any Motor Carrier allowing "multi" Owner Operators to haul loads under their authority without the proper insurance coverage is placing themselves and the shipper in jeopardy.
I encourage everyone to follow the Sylectus axiom, "Work with Who you Trust"
Shelly Benisch, CIC