Dave Corfman offers excellent advice through E.O. Sean M. Lyden’s pen in “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Knowing when to find another carrier.” I’d like to add this suggestion to Independent Contractors from the insurance angle:
Secure your own expedite truck insurance policy. Make it in your name with your own policy and your own Agent.
Do this now regardless of whether you’re required to provide NTL or Primary Liability for your current Motor Carrier, and regardless of whether you have any plans of leaving your Motor Carrier.
Why? Two reasons:
1. Too often we receive frantic calls “My company plan shut off my insurance when I told them I was leaving them, and I have no insurance on the unit between the time I leave one company and move to another and to make it worse I can’t get my money back right away… and I’m broke.”
2. Even more important in my opinion, and I see this all the time…. That new Motor Carrier could be promising you the moon and once you move to them you’re pretty much stuck if it turns out things aren’t quite so rosy.
By then you’re on THEIR company insurance plan, and you’re in the same position regarding insurance coverage and monies as you were with the first Motor Carrier and their company plan.
You’re an Independent Contractor. Establish your I.C. insurance policy in your name so that you can control it and make changes as needed through your own Agent.
You then have an existing policy where your agent can quote exact projected premium changes based on the insurance requirements of the Motor Carrier you’re pre-qualifying BEFORE you jump.
If you’re using a TRS Transportation Risk Agent, they can also talk through your thought process as to why you’re thinking of leaving your current Motor Carrier and help you determine whether its cost effective to make a move to a different Motor Carrier in our Expediting Community.
More times than not, at CIS we listen to the I.C.’s concerns, crunch the numbers, talk it through with specific suggestions for better negotiation and communication…and the I.C. ends up staying put. It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing when an I.C. is unhappy.
Bottom Line, sometimes it’s time for you to leave, and sometimes it’s not. You never know what can change in your future. Your own I.C. insurance policy gives you more flexibility and control…and often saves you a few bucks at the same time.
Shelly Benisch, TRS, CIC
Commercial Insurance Solutions Inc. (CIS)