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insurance payout

Get Your Insurance Payout Faster

By | Commercial Lines, Transportation | No Comments

Being involved in a semi-truck accident can be a frightening event and often causes overwhelming aftermath. Your company and driver(s) will need the insurance payout quickly to cover various expenses.

Making the right decisions on the scene and immediately following the accident makes a significant difference in the timeliness of your insurance payout. Follow the steps outlined in this article to get your insurance money as quickly as possible.


Gather Evidence

Your drivers should all carry smartphones. If or any reason they are not, you should equip them with a digital camera ASAP. Instruct your drivers always to take photos as soon as the area is safe and secured.

You’ll want to document the scene of the accident thoroughly to avoid any ambiguity about what happened and who is responsible.

What to photograph:

  • Your truck, and the other car(s) or truck(s).
  • The surrounding area or intersection.
  • The other driver’s license and insurance ID card.
  • The license plate(s), or write them down quickly.


Carefully Choose a Repair Shop

Coordinate with your insurer which shop they prefer. It may seem like you will save money up front by going to a friend of a friend, but in the end, it may slow down and impede your claim.

Most insurance companies have a goal to payout a claim within 30 days.

Anytime another car is involved in an accident, the claim can get delayed up to 60 days. If it takes any longer, you should ask your insurer to have a conference call with the agent, insurer, and customer to avoid any miscommunication and further delays.


Downtime Insurance

When you have a truck down for the count, your trucking business is losing money in more ways than one. This is where downtime insurance can help offset the financial damage.

What is downtime insurance? Downtime insurance indemnifies for loss of earnings resulting from the inability to operate due to damage to a truck or trailer from an insured accident.

As a trucker or fleet owner, hopefully, you’ve purchased this from your insurer or agent. You will need concrete proof of the loss of income you are experiencing to receive a downtime claim.

The adjuster will want to keep as much money for the insurance company as possible, so be prepared for an audit of proof-of-income and financial losses related to your claim.

The insurance company will require lots of documentation. Be prepared to prove that you are getting the truck repaired as quickly as possible.

Downtime insurance is one area where you will need to be patient to get a payout. Also, smaller claims payout more easily and quickly.


State Mandated Deadlines

Some states will require an insurance payout to happen more quickly. This only works when there are no disputes involved, from any parties involved.

Check into the state where the accident happened, as well as where your business is legally located. Use the interactive map from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners‘ to find out whom to contact.


Communication is Key

The best way to get your insurance payout quickly is to communicate promptly. Answer phone calls, and initiate phone calls to your insurer and agents involved. Provide any requested documentation as soon as possible.

Being prompt in reporting is crucial to receiving your payout on time. To learn more about insurance payouts for trucking accidents and to have expert guidance, contact Brooker Transportation at 800-722-0055.


PHOTO: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

prepare your drivers

How to Prepare Your Drivers in Case of an Accident

By | Commercial Lines, Insurance Insights | No Comments

Things are going great for your company. You’re meeting deadlines, making revenue goals, and growing your team. It’s easy to develop an attitude that the worst won’t happen. But the road is a dangerous place. Driving a commercial truck is, at times, like maneuvering an obstacle course. Even when you take steps to keep your drivers safe, accidents happen. The best thing you can do is to prepare. Besides checking that you have sufficient, trustworthy insurance, prepare your drivers. Make sure they know how to respond in this rare but highly stressful situation.


Prevention is Best

Preventing accidents should be your motto, no matter who’s at fault, a scratch or fatality. Discuss with drivers ways to stay alert on the road and not take unnecessary risks. Provide drivers with a 24-hour first point of contact list at your company.

Truckers are often in a rush to meet a deadline, and this can result in pushing themselves to drive past their limits. Truck drivers might think they are capable of operating with little sleep, but the DOT found that 87% of trucker-caused crashes were due to driver fatigue. Make sure your drivers adhere to FMCSA regulations by driving a maximum of 11 hours after ten consecutive work days, and 10 hours after eight straight hours off-duty.

Another major contributor to all auto accidents is cell phone usage. Set and routinely explain policies prohibiting cell phone use while driving. Include other distractions, too, like eating on the road.


In Case of an Accident

Everything that happens following an accident, such as dealing with insurance, is easier if your drivers react appropriately. Here are steps to request of your drivers if they get in an accident.

Keep calm and turn on your hazards. Take a deep breath and do not move. While mentally assessing the situation, remind yourself that you are a professional and still representing your company.

  1. Do not admit fault! You may want to say, “I’m sorry” even when you did nothing wrong, but this could be used against you in court.
  2. Do not move. Leave your truck at the crash site unless police instruct you otherwise. Also, never purposefully park the truck as a barricade in any situation.
  3. Put out reflectors as soon as you’re able. One reflector goes 10 feet behind the vehicle and a second 100 feet behind.
  4. Call 911. If you cannot operate your phone, ask multiple people to get help. Do not rely on one person who says they are going to get help.
  5. Collect information. Don’t focus on this step too much, as it can be seen as coercion if excessive or aggressive. Get the name, address, and phone number of any witnesses. At minimum, take a photo or write down license plate numbers of involved vehicles.
  6. Call the company. Report what happened clearly, accurately, and without defensiveness. They will likely contact the insurance company for you.
  7. Take photos. Capture as many images as you can of the accident and damage to either your truck or another vehicle. Also, include skid marks or vehicle positions, signals, and anything that may deem useful. A smartphone is great for this as it timestamps the images.

It’s up to your company to decide whether or not to provide first aid training. It would seem very reasonable and responsible if you do, especially in a courtroom. If you do, be sure to provide proper training and first-aid kits.


Other Tips for Truck Drivers

After ensuring everyone involved is safe and unharmed, and taking care of the above necessary steps, it’s a good idea to check your cargo. If you were hauling anything dangerous, get the road flares out sooner than later to keep traffic from harm.

Cooperate with any police officers at the scene. Agree to blood and alcohol tests if they ask. If you were operating by the law and, depending on the severity of the accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your CDL, but may require review.

Make sure your drivers and trucks are covered and secure. Call Brooker Transportation Agency at 440-238-5454 for comprehensive truck insurance, as well as; bus, motor coach, limousine, charter and tour company, school bus, public transit, and more.


PHOTO: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain