Risk Retention Groups: The Silver Lining For Increasing Insurance Cost

It is no secret that commercial auto insurance rates have been increasing. It is not uncommon to see a commercial auto insurance renewal increase 4-8%. Put into the mix adverse loss experience and you will likely experience a double digit increase.

The Trucking industry has been especially hard hit. As the demand for insurance coverage increases in this robust economy supply/demand, economics come in to play and the increase in auto liability premiums is likely to remain for the immediate future.

But with every cloud there may be a silver lining. These premium increases have brought about a resurgence of Risk Retention Groups (RRG). In no way is this a panacea to increasing premiums but for some Truckers may provide a viable alternative to traditional insurance coverage.

A Risk Retention Group is an insurance company formed pursuant to the federal Risk Retention Act of 1981, which was amended in 1986 to allow insurers underwriting all types of liability risks except workers compensation to avoid cumbersome multi-state licensing laws.

A Risk Retention Group (RRG) is a liability insurance company that is owned by the people it insures. The owner-insured of a Risk Retention Group must share similar business activities. There are a number of options for Trucking companies, from owner operators to those R|PGs that require a minimum fleet size of a 100 power units.

Joining a RRG not only makes you an insured but also an owner of this insurance enterprise. In some cases it requires a surplus contribution, which can be considered an equity investment into the insurance company. Most RRGs require a surplus contribution. Many plans  will allow a payment plan for this contribution in addition to the premium payment.

The desired outcome of the RRG is to bring together a homogeneous group of insureds that have a vested interest in reducing claims severity and frequency through the engagement of loss control and industry best practices. The RRG is  very active in encouraging risk management techniques that will assist the insured/owner in improving its loss record. In most cases these efforts will reduce the overall cost of insurance.

Please feel free to contact me for more information regarding these alternative methods of protecting your business.

6 Ways to Prevent Cargo Theft

Unfortunately, Cargo Theft presents a considerable problem in the shipping industry. Goods are the most vulnerable when in transit. Next to having the correct coverages for your drivers and loads, following these 6 tips, can help ensure that your driver and load will be delivered safely.

    1. Planning your Routes: If you transporting to the same location and take the same route regularly – you are a target for thieves. Make sure to switch up your routes every now and then.
    2. Keep eyes on the goods at all times: If you are driving alone, always make sure you are close to your truck at all times.
    3. Add extra security: There is no better deterrent for thieves then anti-theft devices. Invest in items such as locking bars and king pin locks.
    4. Secrets: It is proven that thieves target certain loads over others, so the golden rule is don’t discuss what you are hauling.
    5. Constant Contact: The dispatcher and driver should remain in constant contact throughout the trip. In addition to dispatch, keep in contact with friends and family so they know you are safe.
    6. Know what to do if you are targeted: If you are targeted by thieves, always remember your safety comes first. Try to remember as much detail as you can in order to give the authorities the best chance at catching the criminals.
At Anastasi Insurance, we take safety beyond just providing you with the correct coverages for the right price. We can help you develop safety talking points and documents to use with your employees and more. Contact us today.

Glitch in RMV system

Did you get a notice from the MA RMV that your license will be suspending due to outstanding fees? You may have been one of the almost 10,000 people who received this notice due to a glitch in their system. The RMV did send out correction letters within 24 hours after they caught the glitch, but if you have any questions about the status of your license, please feel free to give us a call and we can check on that for you.

Home Inventory Checklist

When was the last time you updated your home inventory? Even if you have good insurance, your policy can only pay you for personal belongings if you can document them and prove they were lost, damaged or destroyed. This may seem like a time-consuming project, but our team can make it quick and easy. Contact us and ask about our comprehensive Home Inventory Checklist today.

What does the rate decrease mean for your Workers’ Compensation cost?

Massachusetts settled on an impending decrease in workers’ compensation rates – effective July 1, 2018. The decrease will result in an average rate rollback of 12.9% on workers’ comp insurance rates. Unfortunately, this won’t be a simple decrease in every employer’s premium. There are a lot of factors to consider. Our President, Paul M. Anastasi sat down with Jon Coppleman, our resident Workers Compensation consultant, to discuss the rate decrease and what it could mean for your business.

It is important to discuss the impacts to your particular situation with your agent. If you have any questions on your workers compensation policy, please contact our office.






Distracted Driving Awareness Month

distracted driving

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The latest statistics show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015. More than 40,000 people were killed on our nation’s roadways last year, and distracted driving is a major contributor. We at Anastasi Insurance are constantly on the road – whether it’s driving to the Registry or out to visit a client – we have a no tolerance policy for driving while distracted. The safety of our employees and others on the road are at the upmost importance.

If you do not have a distracted driving policy in place already please contact us to provide you one or if you would simply like a review of your current plan, call us and ask for one of our advisors.

Each death is 100% preventable. From cell phones to dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features – all pose a threat to our safety. Just one second of your attention is all takes to change a life forever.

This is a united effort to recognize and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving. Join us to help save lives.

You can pledge to your children or other loved ones that you will be an attentive driver. Share your pledge on social media if you’d like.

Check out nsc.org/justdrive for more information on how you can spread awareness. #JUSTDRIVE

Over the past 20 years, many businesses have considered us an extension of their own back office, where we have consistently saved them time and money by obtaining comprehensive coverage at the lowest possible cost – year after year. With that, we provide the peace of mind in knowing that your business is properly protected. Who are we? We are a hand-picked group of insurance professionals that take the time to slow down and understand you and your business. What do we do once we know you? Backed by the region’s largest insurance exchange – with over $600,000,000.00 in written premium – we leverage our buying power with the intimate knowledge of your operation to secure the best prices while ensuring you are properly protected.

Two Real Life Examples of Why You Need Professional Liability Insurance

I am a Contractor, not a Doctor… why would I need to purchase Professional Liability Insurance?

The answer to that question is not an easy Yes or No. It has a lot to do with the contracts you sign as well as the services that you provide.

First let’s talk about what your general liability policy will provide for coverage.  A typical general liability policy provides coverage for claims brought against you that result in bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury is obvious, but with property damage not so much. A loss has to be to tangible property of others first and only then will a financial loss be considered.


Real Life Example #1:

An electrical contractor recently installed a switch gear package which after installation caused a fire that prevented the plant from opening in time. This resulted in a loss of revenue to the owner. No problem; because there was property damage to others there will be coverage for the lost income of the owner.

If instead the electrician sizes a circuit incorrectly and that mistake causes no tangible physical damage but the plant is unable to open for two weeks to diagnose the problem. There will be no coverage under the general liability policy for the loss of income.

Ok, so now the other more significant exposure for our contractor. Today’s general liability policies do not provide coverage for bodily injury and property damage (tangible or not) when the contractor has gone beyond the role of delivering services considered ‘traditional methods and means of construction’ to providing ‘professional services’ Methods and Mean-In the Engineers Domain?.

Here is an example

Real Life Example #2:

A HVAC contractor installs a cooling unit that is not sized properly for the location/use of occupancy. As a result, mold forms and damages the building’s interior and causes sickness to the workers; remediation, bodily injury, loss of income, etc….all excluded. The insurance company will likely take the position that the contractor went outside his/her normal scope of competency to provide ‘ordinary methods and means of construction’ and instead provided services of a ‘professional nature’. Sounds like this is a claim that will end of in court and the legal fees to get there will be paid by the contractor.


Over the last 25 years contracting in most trade groups has become a sophisticated and complicated business. The technical nature of their business may from time to time take them out of the traditional role of delivering a finished product exclusively using ordinary methods and means and instead has them performing services that would be considered ‘professional’ in nature. Even when a contractor employs an engineer to provide the professional services required of the contract, as found in design build projects, the mistakes of the engineer will cause the contractor to be named in a law suit. Unfortunately the contractor will have no defense cost covered if the basis of the claim is the failing to render what would be considered professional services. And if you think that you, the contractor, can be named as an additional insure under the engineers professional liability policy that is very unlikely.

Ok so how to you avoid this

Recommendations on how to make sure you are fully protected:

  • Avoid the Owner that is in a rush to get the job done and does not hire an engineer when you know he should and tells you just do it as you see fit.
  • Carefully review your contracts to make certain there are no inferences imposing professional liability exposures on the work you are asked to perform.
  • Review your policies carefully and attempt to have all professional liability exclusions removed.
  • When it becomes necessary to hire an engineer as part of your design build contract make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm with limits of liability at least equal to your general liability limits.
  • Obtain quotes for professional liability insurance at each renewal with limits equal to your limits of liability insurance.
  • Review your professional liability policies carefully. One of the most important items is the description in the policy of the services that you render.
  • Make sure your agent has professional liability insurance.


Here are a couple of articles that take a deeper dive into this subject

Construction Industry Updates-Contractors Professional Liability

Professional Liability-Are Contractors Adequately Protected

Please feel free to contact me with any questions

Regain Confidence In Your Audits

The mere sound of having an audit done sends shivers up the spine of most business owners, especially those in the construction and transportation industries.  Knowing that it has the likelihood of increased insurance costs, some business owners avoid the audit like the plague. However, dealing with the audit aggressively from a position of knowledge and understanding can temper the effects of any audit

I recently had the opportunity of discussing this very subject with Jon Coppleman. Jon is a leading authority on classifying payrolls for the construction and transportation businesses. For more than 20 years Jon has been drafting and delivering user friendly training in all aspects of workers compensation nationally. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies and Main Street businesses across the country. We are fortunate to have Jon available for our most complex comp issues.

There are many moving parts to making sure that you are in compliance and that you are taking advantage of appropriate classifications and discounts available including…

  •  The wise use of deductibles
  • Proper record keeping when an employee has multiple duties
  • Transfer of risk strategies with temp labor forces, independent contractors and sub-contractors
  • Confirming the proper calculation of your experience mod
  • Analyzing the application of the Construction Classification Credit
  • Effects of operating in multiple states

…..just to name a few

Make sure that your agent is closely involved in this process. We will routinely require that the audit takes place in our office after compiling the information necessary for its completion. This allows complete control over the process and affords thoughtful response to the questions posed by the insurance company representative.

Check out my complete interview with Jon to get a more comprehensive look into how you can get the best results from your audit.

If you feel that you have been overcharged on your current or a previous audit please contact us for a consultation.