NC Insurance Commissioner Wants to Purge ‘Nonresident’ Truckers

Night loading at papermill

Cheap Shots . . .

North Carolina has some of the lowest insurance rates in the U.S. and North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin wants to keep it that way according to WRAL.

Calling the nonresident truckers ‘liars’ and posers, Goodwin, is drafting legislation to distinguish between NC based trucking companies and those who operate out of another state.

NC once had out-of-state car drivers signing up for the lower auto insurance rates but changed the laws. NC has the cheapest insurance in the U.S. as NC residents pay 41 percent less than the national average, according to Fox8. (The most expensive state for auto insurance is Michigan.)

While there are a number of reasons NC insurance rates are lower (including good drivers subsiding the bad drivers), the main reason, according to  Stuart Powell, Vice President of Technical Affairs at Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, Inc., is that personal injury lawsuits are difficult to win in North Carolina, if the driver contributed to the collision.

The Facts . . .

As noted in Friday’s blog, personal injury claims involving trucks are over $1 million, on average, and rising.

Other facts:

In 2013 Heavy Vehicle Registrations included:

  • 8,126,007 single-unit trucks (straight trucks)
  • 2,471,349 combination trucks (tractor-trailers), and
  • 864,549 buses

There are about 5.8 million CDL drivers and millions of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.

Motor vehicle crashes are on the increase. In the first half of 2015 there was a 14% increase in fatal accidents according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

Fatal truck accidents occur 11 times every day and are on the rise.

More than 100,000 people are injured every year in truck crashes. Multiply each truck injury by $1M and the annual cost would be over $100,000,000,000. That’s One Hundred Billion Dollars. At one time you could run the whole country on that and have spare change.

The cost of a fatal crash involving a tractor-trailer is over $7 million.

More miles driven, more cars on the road, more accidents. Tom Wilson, CEO Allstate

Motor-vehicle deaths may exceed 40,000 for the first time since 2007, according to the NSC.

Options for Lowering Your Truck Insurance

(1.) Hold the current course.

80% of companies will not make an effort to craft their culture, according to culture design expert Maria Giudice.  There are a lot of good safety information and resources out there, perhaps more than ever before. Become safe by design, not by default. Many times business owners tell me “Well everyone knows that,” but they have not reduced their policies to a written form. Don’t ignore or fail to implement your safety plan until safety becomes an issue. Then it’s too late.

It is not necessary to change. Survival is optional.  Dr. W. Edwards Deming

(2.) Be proactive.

Being proactive means acknowledging there is a steep learning curve to deal with of the industry changes, regulatory changes, compliance changes, and changes in whatever stage your organization is in at this time. Make an effort to stay ahead of the curve. This may involve some risk, but the rewards are well worth it.

(3.) Be transparent.

Being transparent means having crystal clear policies that everyone knows— and follows because they are enforced. Simple policies, like wear your safety (seat) belt and never use your cell phone while driving, carry huge safety implications to your risk partners (insurance companies) and regulators (DOT, DPS, OSHA, etc.). Your risk partner likely has a Loss Control (LC) department that will assist you in crafting basic safety policies and procedures. There are no fees or charges for LC services.

Thank you for reading this.

 

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