MCIEF Conference educates Transportation Risk Specialists with Experts in the Trucking Industry

TRS Transportation Risk Specialist

Last Modified: February 8, 2023

Truck Industry Leaders shared thoughts and information with key Transportation Insurance Companies and Agents at the 2017 MCIEF – Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation Conference in Orlando.

The first topic was “Critical Issues the Motor Carrier Faces and Their Impact on Insurance”.   Mark Willis, radio personality with SiriusXM Channel 146 shared his feedback from listeners of Road Dog Trucking – Talk for Truckers show.

Mark was joined by trucking company executives John Elliott with Load One, LLC, Phillip Williams with Phillip Williams & Sons, Inc. and John Erwin with Saddle Creek Logistics Services.  Transportation Attorney, Jay Taylor with Taylor & Associates deftly moderated the discussion with pointed questions of exactly what keeps these transportation company leaders up at night and how the insurance industry can help alleviate their fears.

Unfortunately confirming some of their fears with statistics was Dan Murray with ATRI, the American Transportation Research Institute.  No one can make boring stats more interesting than Dan!

Check out their new ATRI website at to see the hot trends in transportation including the industry’s top concerns.

Breakout sessions included Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP Attorney Rob Moseley’s always entertaining and educational take on “Current Transportation Court Cases” that you really just can’t make up:)

I especially enjoyed Steve Bryan with Vigillo’s “Update on CSA” because he always knows what’s going on behind the scenes.  Steve has a great Vigillo Blog on CSA reform status with his personal comments if you’d like to learn more about it, too.

One of the sessions my husband, John, particularly liked was by Dick Nohre with Nohre & Co on “Understanding a Motor Carrier’s Financial Statement”.  Really, where else do you learn to decipher financial statements beyond the basics without MCIEF offering these Trucking Continuing Ed Trainings?  Anyone looking for help with their accounting would do well by contacting Noehre & Co to see what they can do.

Another session that drew a great deal of attendance was on “Insurance Needs of a Broker”, by Attorney Brian Mathis with Taylor & Associates, Ben Armistead with Greenwich Transportation Underwriters and John Hahn with Saddle Creek Logistics Services.  Brian discussed the legal ramifications of a Broker misrepresenting themselves as a Motor Carrier as well as some surprising cases including ATIAPO v. Goree Logistics Inc.  Ben and John shared how they diligently vet and screen carriers to avoid exposure to vicarious liability which was quite refreshing.

A very noteworthy session included “Cargo Issues” by Jean Gardner with CAB, Central Analysis Bureau.  She shared the most frequent E & O exposures including exactly what an insured is liable for in a cargo claim.   (On a personal note, I had dinner with Jean one night and very much enjoyed her interesting stories!)

If you don’t already know CAB and what we can learn from them, check out The Cab Advantage which includes Bits & Pieces.

“Loss Prevention” is a topic TRS Agents are always encouraged to understand in order to help Motor Carriers reduce their loss ratios, and therefore, their premiums.  Greg Byrne with Nationwide E & S, Gary Flaherty with Canal and Scott Murray with BB&T conducted this session that also included some valuable tools that included goal basics and action plans to follow that were specific and helpful.

For attendees looking for more ways to help their Motor Carriers, Drew Anderson with PrePass Services explained out insureds qualify to be part of that program that saves time and more.

Attorney Bridgette Blitch with Taylor & Associates and Lt. Charles Smalley, Florida DOT shared the procedures and findings of an on-site inspection so participants could gain an understanding of the results of violations, fines and ratings.

As if Bridgette wasn’t already busy enough, she also coordinated and presided as “Judge” over a mock trial called “A Crash Happens”.  This was a new venue for our organization with the audience acting as Jury on a case where a truck driver is the defendant in a fatality.

“Yours Truly”, Agent  Shelly Benisch, played the Plaintiff i.e. the grieving widow “Mrs. Seal”, and promptly added levity to the case when my attorney asked me the names of my children which I did not know…for the rest of the case my imaginary kids were referred to as “the Baby Seals”, LOL.

The “trial” ran from 12:30 to 4:30, with real life attorneys Hillary Booth and Gene Zipperle playing their parts as defending and prosecuting counsel.  Attorney Jeffrey Pincus played his part as the defendant Truck Driver particularly well and added substantially to the humor and playfulness of the entertaining afternoon.

Closeted Esq, other-wise known as Agency Principal Rocky Roemer of  Wellington F Roemer Insurance Inc also played his part well as the hapless and amusing witness with strong opinions.  Attorneys Brian Mathis and  Scott Carey acted as reconstruction experts, both responding very well under fire by pointed questioning.

This mock transportation trial was a unique opportunity to essentially watch what occurs in a fatality trial without the real life tragedy.  Special thanks to Jeffrey Pincus  Partner with Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles LLP for providing the time it took to develop the creative storyline.

Again, on a personal note again, I thought Hillary, Gene and Jeffrey were exceptionally smart and practiced at their trade of drilling down to the details.  I genuinely enjoyed spending time with them and observing their thought process regarding case and story assemblage. I think anyone like myself who has (thankfully) not experienced a fatality trial in person learned a great deal from all of them, so thank you again.

Next year’s MCIEF conference will again be in Orlando.  Mark your calendars for October 4th and 5th 2018.  See you there!


  • 2002 Founder and CEO of Commercial Insurance Solutions, Inc., Shelly Benisch specializes in providing Commercial Truck Insurance for owner operators and small motor carriers. Both CIS and TRS certified, She also writes a free educational trucking insurance advice blog dedicated to the little guy.

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