Business Automobile Insurance

Consideration for a commercial auto policy doesn’t start and end with insuring your vehicle for physical damage. Other critical issues related to automobiles arise out of your business operations, including liability for bodily injury and property damage as well as liability related to vehicles you borrow or hire.

For the last four decades Mason & Mason has helped business owners manage risk related to the autos they own or hire. We write a wide range of policy types from coverage for single trucks registered to contractors to programs that cover the legal liability of auto dealers through our Garage Keepers program. We’ve also helped the owners of large vehicle fleets find coverage and manage their risk accordingly.

With the introduction of our mobile app, the drivers of your vehicles can now have an electronic copy of the Auto ID card available on their smartphone in states where that is accepted. In the event of an accident, that same app can be used to capture photos and get the claims process started.

Contractors & Subcontractors Insurance Program Team

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"One of the things we love about this agency is that they don’t try to sell you. They want  their clients to be informed so they can make the best decision with the right coverage, and with Mason and Mason, we always get detailed, personalized, honest service."


Almar Building & Remodeling Co.

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Rear End Collisions—How to Avoid Hitting ...

Perhaps the most preventable and inexcusable accident is caused by backing into a parked auto or a fixed object. You should never commit this type of error as a professional driver.

To keep from hitting someone in the rear:

  • Begin braking early—for reserve braking power as you near final stopping point.
  • Pay strict attention—Don’t daydream or look away from the road for more than one second. Keep in mind that a vehicle can move a considerable distance in one second. For example, at 40 mph, a vehicle travels 60 feet in one second.
  • Use good vision habits—Don’t crowd up so close that you can’t see ahead. Look through rear window area of vehicle ahead to see the road ahead. Look over the top of car ahead when on hills.
  • Look for things that could cause the driver ahead to stop—The other driver’s problems become your problems only a second or two later.
  • On icy roads, look for a swerve path to the right—Many times on ice you can steer around a vehicle that you could not stop for. Avoid swerving to the left—you’re inviting a head-on. Better yet, you won’t need a swerve path at all if you increase your following distance to allow for road conditions and weather.
  • Be patient—The hurry habit is the beginning of many a rear end mash-up. Stay Alert For Danger Signals Some signals to watch for:
  • Brake lights on the vehicle ahead— Get your foot off the gas pedal and to the brake pressure point quickly.
  • Diminishing distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead— You’re in a collision course. The vehicle on the road ahead is slowing down or it may be standing. Relate vehicles ahead to fixed objects out to the side.
  • Problems in adjacent lanes— Stay alert for brake lights and slow downs in adjacent lanes. Expect quick swerves into your lane by other drivers.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of  any recommendations or advice  contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
LC 11-389


A business guide to preventing, detecting, ...

Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent: 2016 saw more phishing attacks than any previous year on record according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group. At the same time, there is a growing level of sophistication of cybercriminals. This handout is available from the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect campaign to help the American public be safe and more secure online.

Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to infect your machine with malware and viruses to collect personal and financial information. Cybercriminals attempt to lure users to click on a link or open an attachment that infects their computer with viruses or malware, creating vulnerability to attacks. Phishing emails may appear to come from a real financial institution, e-commerce site, government agency, or any other service, business, or individual. The email may also request personal information like account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. When users respond with the information or click on a link, attackers use it to access their accounts.

Phishing examples

The following messages, from the Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuardOnline website, are examples of what attackers may email or text when phishing for sensitive information:

  • “We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity.”
  • “During our regular verification of accounts, we could not verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information.”
  • “Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund.”

To see examples of actual phishing emails, and steps to take if you believe you received a phishing email, please visit www.irs.gov/uac/report-phishing.

Tips to prevent phishing

When in doubt, throw it out. Links in email and online posts are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it is best to delete or, if appropriate, mark it as “junk email.” You may want to check with management and follow any company guidelines in place to protect against phishing attempts. You can also contact the company directly (via phone) to find out if the email is legitimate. Other tips to prevent phishing attacks include:

  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for personal information.
  • Use stronger authentication: Always opt to enable stronger authentication when available, especially for accounts with sensitive information including your email or bank accounts. A stronger authentication helps verify a user has authorized access to an online account. For example, it could be a one-time PIN texted to a mobile device, providing an added layer of security beyond the password and username. Visit www.lockdownyourlogin.com for more information on stronger authentication.
  • Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  • Install and update anti-virus software. Make sure all of your computers are equipped with regularly updated antivirus software, firewalls, email filters, and anti-spyware.
  • Be wary of hyperlinks: Avoid clicking on hyperlinks in emails. Type the full website address directly into the address bar instead. If you choose to click on a link, ensure it is authentic before clicking on it. You can check a hyperlinked word or URL by hovering the cursor over it to reveal the full address.
  • Advise consumers who have fallen victim to a phishing attack to change their passwords and report the attack to reportphishing@antiphishing.org. Also, forward phishing emails to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.
  • Report phishing attacks to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.

To learn more about Hanover Risk Solutions, visit hanoverrisksolutions.com


Copyright ©2019, ISO Services Properties, Inc.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC FEB 2019 10-185H
171-0914 (1/19)

 


Motor Vehicle Records—MVRs

Studies show a link between accidents and past driving performance. Most drivers involved in vehicle accidents have had more than one accident or violation during the prior three years. Past driving record is a good indicator of how the person will drive in the future since drivers often continue their established habits. A recent study found that prior traffic violations were the second best predictor of future accidents, second only to prior accident history. Furthermore, studies have shown that almost half of job applicants understate the number of accidents and convictions in their initial application.

Motor Vehicle Records

A driver’s Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) is one of the best predictors of accident experience. MVRs should, therefore, be obtained for all drivers before they go behind the wheel. Obtain MVRs from each state since non‐CDL drivers may possess licenses from more than one. Then check MVRs at least once a year to determine if remedial action is needed.

Obtain written authorization from employees when requesting their MVR information. Consult with legal counsel in the event you decide to take disciplinary action against an employee as a result of any findings contained in the MVR, because there may be certain federal or state laws that apply.

Make MVRs part of driver files. Review them with your drivers. Doing so can provide insight into attitudes toward traffic rules and regulations.

Guidelines for Screening MVRs

If driving is part of the job, MVRs that are clean or acceptable should be a condition of employment. Establish clear standards for what constitutes an acceptable MVR, and the penalties for not having one.

Consider the guidelines listed on page 3. These are the same guidelines used by Hanover/Citizens Insurance Companies; however, exercise caution to assure all applicants and employees are evaluated under the same criteria. Again, you should consult with legal counsel in the event you decide to take disciplinary action against an employee as a result of any findings contained in his or her MVR.

Additional Factors to Consider

A driver’s age may be a contributing factor in vehicle accidents. For example, a youthful operator may possess a clean record; however, because the individual has been licensed a relatively short time, his or her driving experience may be limited.

On the other hand, long term “good” drivers may develop adverse trends over time. You should, therefore, conduct MVR checks on all drivers at least once annually. Again, you should make this periodic check a condition of employment and should obtain written authorization from your employees to do so.

How To Obtain MVRs

State Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) are good sources for Motor Vehicle Records. For links to all 50 state DMVs, visit the AAA DMV website.

Some states offer a service that allows businesses to receive automatic notifications of changes to their drivers’ MVRs. This is an excellent way to provide immediate intervention and counseling of drivers rather than waiting for an annual MVR review.

Sample MVR Program Guidelines

MAJOR VIOLATIONS—One makes driver unacceptable:

  • Negligent homicide within last 5 years
  • Criminal‐type conviction within last 5 years
  • Hit‐and‐run within last 5 years
  • Manslaughter within last 5 years
  • Suspended or revoked license—currently suspended or revolved
  • Drag racing within last 5 years
  • Driving Under Influence/Impaired within last 5 years Moving Violations
  • Reckless driving within last 5 years
  • Careless driving within last 3 years
  • Assault involving a motor vehicle within last 5 years
  • Passing a stopped school bus within last 3 years

UNACCEPTABLE*

  • 3 or more moving violations within the last 3 years
  • 2 or more at‐fault accidents within the last 3 years
  • Violations and accidents combined: More than 1 at‐fault accident and 1 moving violation within the last 3 years when not the same incident

Moving Violations

  • Speeding violations
  • Improper or excessive lane changes
  • Following the vehicle ahead too closely
  • At‐fault accidents (any accident where the driver is cited with a violation, or negligently contributes to the incident OR; any single‐vehicle accident that is not caused by actual equipment failure)
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Failure to yield

ACCEPTABLE

  • The driver has violations but does not meet the MAJOR or UNACCEPTABLE criteria

CLEAN

  • No violations listed on the MVR

Please note this list is not all inclusive, but a general guideline of the types of violations that fall into “Major Violations” and “Unacceptable”. The actual wording of a violation varies by state.

*Not‐at‐fault accidents, failure to wear seat belts, failure to register vehicle, failure to maintain vehicle, improperly marked or secured loads, oversize/overweight violations, non‐compliance with financial responsibility laws, and other non‐moving violations may also be considered unacceptable. Multiple incidents of these types of violations may indicate a general disrespect for safety controls and laws.

To learn more about Hanover Risk Solutions, visit hanoverrisksolutions.com


The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC JAN 2019 12‐82
171-1025 (02/14)