Webinar: The Importance of Fighting Tickets

Joel from Paradigm Ticket Defense talking about the importance of fighting tickets during the webinar

As the insurance market continues to harden for the transportation industry, it has never been more important to do everything in your power to maintain a safe record. This means taking proactive steps to create things like a Culture of Safety within your trucking organization. It is also important to develop reactive strategies for situations like fighting tickets.  

Joel Lacoursiere is a paralegal and owner of Paradigm Ticket Defense. Joel joined us to discuss the importance of fighting tickets in the transportation industry. At a high level Joel and Linda Colgan, Senior Transportation Account Executive with Bryson Insurance, cover three main areas:

  • Demerit Points: What are they? How do you collect them? And how do you minimize their impact on your driving record?
  • CVOR Score: How do tickets and demerit points relate to a company’s CVOR score?
  • What do when an officer pulls you over: including what items to record, pictures to capture, what to say and to whom and how to behave with the officer.

Do you have questions and need insight from a licensed paralegal specializing in fighting tickets for the transportation industry?

Joel is offering a complimentary consultation. You can email Joel here -> info@paradigmticketdefence.ca or call his office at (416) 909-0620.

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Our next webinar is quickly approaching and it covers an extremely important topic – Cyber Risk. Kyle Gray, from Ridge Canada, is joining us to discuss cyber liability coverage, protection strategies and what to expect with the Federal Government making it mandatory for businesses who suffer a cyber breach to notify the government and anyone who may have had data stolen.

webinar registration button in blue

Tammy ‘fell in’ to insurance from the aviation sector. Since 1997, Tammy has navigated her way through the trucking industry as a Broker.  Staying true to course and guided by her passion, she has held a variety of positions ranging from Account Executive to General Manager. Today, Tammy is the Director of Transportation at Bryson Insurance.

Do you harbour the skills to be in transportation?

Put on your seat belt and enjoy the career launch! What skillset do you need to enter the world of transportation? 

One might say all you need to know is how to drive and you are golden to succeed in the transportation industry. What is guaranteed is once you choose this career path the opportunity to have the same day twice will never exist.

People in the transportation industry intrigue me. There are specific skillsets that one must be enriched with in order to tackle various positions. Being a banker and having a grasp on financing is a must. With US currency difference, fluctuating interest rates, induction of a new Prime Minister/President can all affect the day to day operations and lead the most serene accountant into a haven of premature grey hair.   

Inhabiting genes from Astrodomes is almost a prerequisite. You must be able to predict the future. To become complacent with the present is not an option. Freight changes, weather conditions, rerouting equipment, breakdowns, repairs, substituting power, protests, strikes, tragedy (hurricanes, 9-11, Nipigon River bridge failure) and a multitude of other circumstances require dispatchers and management to forecast and re-orchestrate routes, budgets, reapply for permits, orchestrate freight, equipment and people while at all times satisfying anxious customers. 

You must be a mathematician. Know sizes, weight, fuel consumption, costs per mile, distances and approximation of distance versus time.   You must possess the knowledge of height, weight, how to pack freight as well as know the rate needed cover costs plus profit (profit…..yes, you do need to make a profit –there is a business to run).

Gymnist over a high bar as a metaphore for the flexibility needed in transportation industryFlexibility somewhat comparable to an Olympic gymnast ranks amongst the top three contenders on a job trait requirement. There is not a career position in transportation that opens at 9 and ends at 5.   If there is tragedy, there is no clock there is simply a need of time as well as a demand of stamina and endurance.  If inclement weather exists, delays are imminent. Being home at the anticipated time will have to be adjusted. There simply is no option.  When roads are closed this changes expectations and anticipations. Both emotional and physical flexibility are dire requirements. The school of hard knocks is a mighty fine school that educates and redefines this skillset.

Possessing legal knowledge is an added bonus.   Even try to understand regulation change?  Deregulation, HOS, CSA, CVOR, MTO, DOT, FMCSA, CRA – a lot of acronyms but ones with a lot of power if you violate one of their rules or new adaptations of an older regulations. It’s necessary to stay in the “know.”  Trying to be an ostrich by burying heads in the sand only leaves the posterior exposed!

This merely scratches the surface of some of the fine skills needed to be in the transportation field. I have always respected transportation as a niche industry filled with many great souls.  It’s an industry like no other. To each and every one past, present and future, who respect what you do and how you do it, my hat is off to you and I thank you with extreme gratitude. Both to you and your families and I wish you only the best in your career.

Have a Question about your CVOR score? Click here to connect with our team of Bryson Transportation Insurance professionals today

Linda started her career in the insurance industry in 1979 and gravitated toward the niche market of transportation insurance in 1986. Linda has been active in the transportation community since her beginnings and is a Board Member with the Durham Region Transportation Association. Since 2006, Linda has been contributing relevant industry articles in Ontario Trucking monthly periodicals

Webinar: Impacts of Legalized Marijuana in the Trucking Industry and Workplace

The Federal Government of Canada plans to legalize recreational cannabis at some point during 2018.

The legalization of recreational cannabis has the potential to greatly impact companies in the transportation industry. The leading concern noted by workplaces is for employees who operate motor vehicles. The top five concerns are:

  1. Employees operating motor vehicles
  2. Disciplinary procedures
  3. Decreased work performance
  4. Employees using heavy machinery
  5. Attendance issues

As well, a study by Deloitte shows that currently 22% of Canadian adults consume recreational marijuana. Once cannabis becomes legal another 17% of Canadians say they would consider consuming as well. That jumps the number of Canadians who will be consuming recreational cannabis to around 40%. This will include many employees and drivers.

How will the legalization of cannabis impact the workplace and the transportation industry?

To to answer this question we invited Carole McAfee Wallace, a lawyer with Fernandes Hearn LLP, to discuss the impacts of marijuana in the workplace from a legal perspective. In this webinar we provide an overview of the current regulatory regime for both medical and recreational marijuana, impact of marijuana on individual performance, and review what employers can and should do going forward.

We provide a special focus for operating motor vehicles and discuss the negative consequences Canadian drivers would face being caught impaired while operating south of the boarder in the United States.

Tammy ‘fell in’ to insurance from the aviation sector. Since 1997, Tammy has navigated her way through the trucking industry as a Broker.  Staying true to course and guided by her passion, she has held a variety of positions ranging from Account Executive to General Manager. Today, Tammy is the Director of Transportation at Bryson Insurance.

Impact felt with ferocity throughout the transportation marketplace

The insurance marketplace has been sending signals that an intense market is coming.  Many articles, including my own, have been waving the flag in an effort to forewarn those in the transportation industry that another hard market is imminent and to pay attention to detail.   Some took heed to the warnings while others sneered in disbelief.

For some who never invested in safety and compliance the echoes of “it’s too late” became a bitter reality.

The new year in its infancy has already seen insurance premiums forcing carriers out of business due to their past claims history.   Unappealing loss history will make the decision process easy for insurance providers not offer renewal terms.    With transportation insures trying to correct their poor loss ratio, there is no one volleying to write bad business.  Each Insurer is seeking to write good business as new business.

The “safe” carriers in this category (blemished claims history, lack of adherence to safety and compliance) who have been granted terms have felt the financial blow on the insurance premiums as well as terms that were once lenient.   Examples of higher deductibles, aggregates on cargo premiums, implementing theft restrictions on cargo and yes, even excluding drivers from being insurable have familiarized themselves once again.

Insurers have captured an abundance of data in their computer systems over the years.  Be wary to all the fleets who are “adopting” those whose insurance lapsed because of terms not being offered.  Cancellation or non-renewal happened for a reason. Don’t inherit problems unless you can fix them.

For those fleets that renew at the latter part of this year, get the game plan in play if you have not done so already.   Once again, have your insurance renewal information available to your Broker well in advance of renewal date.  One Insurer needs a minimum of 45 days lead time to compete on NON fleet accounts.  This is a sign of the times that safety and compliance and a tight ship is needed to weather the storm ahead.

*First appeared in the March 2018 issue of Ontario Trucking

Linda started her career in the insurance industry in 1979 and gravitated toward the niche market of transportation insurance in 1986. Linda has been active in the transportation community since her beginnings and is a Board Member with the Durham Region Transportation Association. Since 2006, Linda has been contributing relevant industry articles in Ontario Trucking monthly periodicals

How much liability coverage is enough?

Amidst the growing litigious nature of our society and skyrocketing settlements, the importance of protecting company assets has reached the forefront of diligent leadership and management.

Here are some key considerations when determining how much Liability coverage is right for you.

Damages, and the Law

Not all damages relate to physical injury to tangible property; there are increasing numbers of claims involving bodily injury, or even death.

Remember, the consumer of your product, the recipient of your work, or any person exposed to your operations has the right to expect reasonable care, and that all goods, work, operations and the establishment are in a safe condition; even when visiting or passing by. There is the added expectation that there will be no interference with their personal property or liberties.

Your business may be held liable for General or Special Damages, such as pain and suffering, future earnings, medical fees, loss of earning capacity, funeral expenses, and extended healthcare services, to name a few. Such costs are not only unpredictable; they are difficult to control and impacted by factors such as the victim’s social and financial position.

Court Awards

For certain industries, the large-dollar exposures are apparent (e.g. airline, pharmaceutical or manufacturing sectors), while others require closer analysis. Regardless, exposures do exist.

It is important to be aware of court awards involving similar businesses to your own, including emerging precedents. These cases set the foundation for future settlement of similar actions.

Legal Costs and Interest

Courts can impose payment for the Plaintiffs’ legal costs, pre-judgment and/or post-judgment interest. These
costs are in addition to actual ‘damages’ awarded and can be quite substantial.

Existence of Insurance

Juries may be more generous when insurance is in place. It’s often referred to as the Deep Pockets Theory. The general concept being: those who have the greater ability to pay, should pay.

Although the existence of a liability policy is often inadmissible as evidence, a subtle inference or assumption may lead the Jury to believe one exists. This can serve as a form of psychological detachment; removing the sense of direct financial ‘injury’ to the Defendant(s).

Territory

U.S. sales or exposure? Consider the possibility that there may be less reluctance to commence a legal action
when an incident occurs south of our borders. Not to mention the exchange rate and higher costs for your
Canadian insurer to investigate, mitigate, defend and settle the claim.

Inflation

Courts often give consideration to inflation – pushing awards to higher levels to compensate.

Ability to Absorb Losses

Most companies do not have the luxury of self-insuring. How many businesses possess the wherewithal to
conduct proper investigations, and the expertise to determine the best course of action with the least exposure to legal ramifications? How many have reserve funding readily available when faced with a significant liability loss?

Fact: the ability to pay an award is NOT a consideration by the Courts!

Businesses may be left with no other option but to liquidate. And, in cases where that is still not enough to cover the Judgment, there is a potential impact on future earnings and any personal guarantees posted in
association with the operations.

Fact: Bankruptcy does not necessarily absolve payment of a Judgment!

Tammy ‘fell in’ to insurance from the aviation sector. Since 1997, Tammy has navigated her way through the trucking industry as a Broker.  Staying true to course and guided by her passion, she has held a variety of positions ranging from Account Executive to General Manager. Today, Tammy is the Director of Transportation at Bryson Insurance.

Coverage, Contracts and the Currency Difference

Canadian insurance policies are written in Canadian dollars.

It is common knowledge that the U.S dollar holds more muscle compared the weakened Canadian currency. This means that business conducted over the border has a very dramatic impact on the payment and settlement of claims.
With the strength of the U.S. dollar repairs, towing, storage are settled at a higher amount while in the United States. Converting currency places additional strain on the limits provided by the insurance policy.

For the most part vehicle repairs will not be affected by coverage limits however the final loss settlement will have an impact on the overall loss ratio. Simply a claim in the U.S will cost the insurer/carrier more.

Many transportation companies carry minimum liability limits while travelling south of the border. Although insurance Brokers discourage this practice it now is more of an alarming concern as we watch the erosion of limits just by the dictation of the currency difference.

A Canadian carrier who maintains minimum liability of $2,000,000 does not have the parallel limits once the border is crossed. It is encouraged that elevation of limits be considered in order to maintain the original comfort of the policy limits to cover the exposures at hand.

Ever consider cargo contracts?

Many shipper contracts are generated in the U.S. The language of these contracts speak in U.S. currency. If a carrier is required to uphold a specific limit for liability and cargo, the onus of responsibility befalls upon the carrier to uphold sufficient limits and abide by the terms of the contract.  Claims in the USA cost more than in Canada. This is a person in a suit holding us a US dollar.

With the erosion of the Canadian dollar increased limits must be accommodated to advocate the binding agreements with shippers.

In Ontario, freight is governed by the Highway Traffic Act unless a carrier has bound themselves to a written contract that supersedes the boundaries of the HTA. Carmack applies to inbound freight and thus once again binds the carrier to the terms of the U.S. contractual agreement for the transportation of goods.

In summary respect the limits of the policy and any terms that could be breached by currency differences and adjust the coverage limits accordingly.

Linda started her career in the insurance industry in 1979 and gravitated toward the niche market of transportation insurance in 1986. Linda has been active in the transportation community since her beginnings and is a Board Member with the Durham Region Transportation Association. Since 2006, Linda has been contributing relevant industry articles in Ontario Trucking monthly periodicals