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What Is Rock Hauler Insurance?

Bookmark and Share Rock haulers carry loads of rocks between locations. They may haul rock from one area of the quarry to another or drive on the road as they deliver rocks to and from construction sites. Purchase rock hauler insurance to protect yourself, your truck, your business and your assets.

Why You Need Rock Hauler Insurance

The trucks that haul rocks are typically heavy-duty commercial vehicles. They could weigh as much as 55,000 pounds before they're loaded. Rock hauler drivers are trained professionals who are skilled at operating the truck. However, there are dangers in rock hauling.

  • The trucks are heavy and require longer stopping distances, especially in inclement weather.
  • Back-up accidents are common due to limited visibility.
  • The large trucks could easily roll over under certain conditions.
  • The load of rocks can shift or escape the truck and cause property damage or physical injuries.
Because of these potential hazards, rock hauler insurance is essential for operators. Whether you own and operate a single truck, drive for a delivery company or own a fleet of rock haulers, protect yourself and your assets with insurance. It covers your liability in the case of an accident.

What is Covered by a Rock Hauler Insurance Policy?

When purchasing a rock hauler insurance policy, look for a comprehensive policy. It can include:

  • Primary liability for at-fault injuries or damages the truck causes to other people or property.
  • Physical damage if the truck is damaged from a collision, overturn, vandalism, fire or other peril.
  • Medical payments or personal injury protection for the driver or passenger's medical and other expenses if they are injured during an accident.
  • Pollution due to greater emissions from large trucks.
  • Workers' Compensation for truck operators.
  • General liability for injuries or property damage that occur on your premises.
  • Umbrella coverage that safeguards your assets.
  • Cargo coverage for the load.
Always be sure to purchase enough coverage to meet your state's requirements. If you haul rocks to other states, purchase adequate insurance to meet their requirements, too.

How Much Does Rock Hauler Insurance Cost?

Expect to pay between $4,000 and $14,000 annually for rock hauler insurance. Your premium will depend on several factors, including:

  • The amount and types of coverage you purchase
  • How many trucks you insure
  • Where you operate the trucks
  • The driver's history and experience
While price is a consideration when purchasing insurance, it's more important to purchase adequate coverage that protects your business and assets.

Contact your commercial insurance company to discuss rock hauler insurance. You'll receive a customized quote that's based on your personalized needs and offers adequate protection

Inspect to Keep Workers Safe

Bookmark and Share The ideal workplace inspection isn’t one that follows a safety incident, or a surprise visit from OSHA – it’s the inspection that you arrange yourself!

Self-inspection audits offer the most effective way to improve safety management, prevent accidents, and ensure compliance with safety regulations.

Work area inspections will:

Evaluate compliance with safety and health policies and procedures

Identify hazards for correction

Determine the need for safety training

Ensure that your work areas get a high grade in the event of an OSHA inspection

Demonstrate your concern for employee safety and health

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires periodic evaluation of workplaces. The timing of self-inspection audits depends on the type of work areas involved. Very hazardous areas might require formal, weekly inspections, while office areas might need only a monthly inspection.

Supplement scheduled inspections with informal daily walkarounds, targeting areas that have had more than their share of safety problems. Follow up to make sure that previously identified problems have been fixed effectively. Use checklists (preferably written) for every inspection.

Although management needs to take the lead in work area inspections and is ultimately responsible for making sure action is taken to correct problems, make sure to involve employees. Work area safety inspections provide a great training tool and an effective way of motivating employees to work more safely.

Here are a few ideas for getting workers involved in self-inspection audits:

Ask workers to help develop inspection checklists for their work areas.

Appoint individuals — or, even better, a team — to conduct inspections. To get everyone involved, have team members serve on a rotating basis.

Meet with employee inspectors after inspections to discuss safety problems and corrective actions.

Share the results of work area inspections with all employees in weekly safety meetings.

Safety is all about awareness and knowledge. Knowledge gives you the power to prevent accidents. One of the best ways to keep informed about ever-changing work area conditions is to perform routine safety inspections. Don’t wait for an accident to find out about a hazard that could have been corrected!

Different Types of Construction Bonds

Bookmark and Share Any construction project is multi-faceted and usually requires a variety of workers, equipment and skills. Construction bonds help to ensure the project is finished properly. Know the different types of construction bonds before you start your next project.

What are Construction Bonds?

Construction projects of a certain size, type and duration as well as most government and public works projects require construction bonds. Contractors purchase bonds from a surety company. The cost of the bonds depends on the project's risk and the type and amount of bond required.

You may sometimes hear the term "contract bond" used interchangeably with the term "construction bond." A contract bond guarantees the fulfillment of a project contract. While contract bonds can be used in any industry, they're most common in construction.

Different Types of Construction Bonds

There are several different types of construction bonds.  

Bid Bonds

Contractors typically submit bids on projects. Bid bonds ensure the contractors have the funds and financial credentials to accept and complete the job if their bid is accepted. It can also allow the developer to recoup certain costs if the highest bidder retracts the bid or declines the job.

Supply Bonds

Contractors rely on materials, equipment and other supplies when working on a construction project. Supply bonds reimburse the purchaser if the suppliers do not provide the items as listed on the purchase order.

Maintenance Bonds

Upon completion of a project, the owner expects the workmanship and materials to last for a specified time. Maintenance bonds cover any necessary repairs if there's a defect.

Performance Bonds

After a contractor is awarded the project, performance bonds ensure the contract is fulfilled properly. If it's not, the project developer can file a claim against the performance bond and use those funds to pay a second contractor to finish the job. Performance bonds are usually purchased for federally funded projects that exceed $100,000.

Payment Bonds

Unfortunately, a lead contractor may go into bankruptcy during a project and be unable to pay subcontractors, suppliers or other workers. Payment bonds cover those services. These bonds are often issued alongside performance bonds because they're also required for federally funded projects that exceed $100,000.

Subdivision Bonds

Contractors who build or renovate structures within a subdivision will need subdivision bonds. They ensure the sidewalks, waste management systems, streets and other public structures are built according to specification. Otherwise, the bond will pay for the project to be finished properly.

Site Improvement Bonds

Renovation projects to existing properties or older structures are fulfilling but can be challenging. Site improvement bonds ensure these projects are completed properly.

Construction bonds are essential for many projects. Discuss your needs with your insurance agent as you ensure you're covered with the right bonds for your needs.

Don't Delay Reporting Claims

Bookmark and Share Jacqueline Butler did not receive a promotion from the Texas law firm where she worked, and she suspected that her race had something to do with it. In July 2001, she filed complaints with the Texas human rights commission and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC notified the employer, who responded a month later.

The following spring, the EEOC informed Butler that she had the right to sue the employer, which she promptly did. In turn, the employer made a claim with the company that provided its Employment Practices Liability insurance. Four weeks later, the insurance company denied the claim; the employer had no choice but to pay for its own legal defense and any potential settlement. In 2006, the employer sued the insurance company for the costs of its defense, but a federal court in 2007 upheld the claim denial.

Why did the employer’s insurance not pay for a discrimination claim? Because the employer took too long to submit it.

A typical policy requires the insured to give the insurer notice of any claims made against it “as soon as practicable.” In the Texas case, the policy went further -- it required written notice to the insurer “as soon as practicable and in no event later than sixty (60) days after such Claim was first made.” The insurer maintained that Butler made her claim in July 2001, when she filed complaints with authorities.

As evidence, it cited the policy’s definition of a “claim” as “any judicial, administrative or other proceeding against any Insured for any Employment Practices Wrongful Act.” Since the complaints filed with the authorities initiated administrative proceedings, the insurer held that they also constituted a claim. In the insurer’s opinion, the policy did not provide coverage if the employer did not give notice within 60 days of when Butler filed the complaints.

The employer argued that, since it notified the insurer within 60 days of receiving notice of the lawsuit, it had complied with the policy’s conditions. However, the court agreed with the insurer.

Insurance companies do not include this language in their policies simply to get out of having to pay claims. The sooner they know about events that might involve coverage, the better they can investigate and prepare legal defense. As time elapses, witnesses’ memories become less reliable, or witnesses might move away, and memos, e-mails, and other types of evidence might become hard to find.

Also, a claimant who has been kept waiting for a length of time might become angry and unwilling to negotiate a settlement. Therefore, even without a firm 60-day deadline, an insurance company might deny coverage when the insured fails to give prompt notice of a claim.

Courts have not developed a standard for what is “prompt” notice, but they normally consider three questions: How long was the delay? What are the reasons for the delay? How does the delay affect the insurer’s ability to handle the claim? Sometimes, a court will excuse a late notice if it decides the insured had a reasonable basis for believing it was not liable for any harm. However, in a situation where an employee has filed complaints with authorities, the court might not agree that such a belief was reasonable.

The safest course for employers is to notify their insurance companies or agents as soon as they become aware of any type of employee complaints to outside authorities. Even if the employer believes the charges to be groundless, it should put the company on notice. Our professional insurance agents can advise you on what the policy requires it to do when a charge is made. The best time to have that discussion is before something happens.