News & Events

Trucking Firms Facing Recruitment Problems Ahead of Holidays

By Jennifer Smith Oct. 24, 2017 9:01 a.m. ET

Trucking companies are worried about finding enough drivers now that the freight market is recovering.

Shipping demand is strengthening after a roughly two-year slump, as manufacturing activity expands and retailers stock up in advance of the holiday season. Meanwhile, fleets are reporting trouble recruiting qualified drivers to haul those loads. Some are raising wages even before they secure rate increases from shippers.

Long-haul truck drivers often hop from one fleet to the next in search of better pay or other benefits, such as schedules that permit them to spend more nights at home. They also tend to be older than the general workforce, fueling concern about driver supply as more truckers near retirement age and younger people enter other fields.

A tight employment market compounds the issue, as the construction and energy sectors draw from the same labor pool. Long-haul truckers make on average about $55,000 a year, compared with the roughly $80,000 to $100,000 they could earn driving for the oil-and-gas industry, said Bob Costello, chief economist with the American Trucking Associations, an industry group.

This year “driver shortage” ranked as the trucking industry’s top concern for the first time since 2006, according to an annual survey released Monday by the American Transportation Research Institute. Nearly 40% of respondents ranked driver supply among their top three concerns, according to the industry research group’s report.

“This is as tight a market as we’ve seen in 25 years, and we expect it to tighten further,” said Derek Leathers, chief executive of Werner Enterprises Inc., a large truckload carrier based in Omaha, Neb. “Demographics are working against us.”

Over the past two years, Werner has boosted wages by about 15%, one of a number of steps to aid driver recruitment and retention. The company has also spruced up its equipment and terminals.

Tightened capacity can benefit carriers, giving them more leverage with shippers on price, but it can also mean passing up work if they can’t find drivers. Though fleets often expand when business is booming, that may be off the table this time.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that we could significantly grow our fleets given the driver capacity issue next year,” Richard Cribbs, chief financial officer at Covenant Transportation Group Inc. said on an earnings call last week.

At Covenant, a large trucking company based in Chattanooga, Tenn., employment costs for the third quarter rose 4.8% from a year earlier, though revenue rose faster and profit soared 59% to $4.6 million. The carrier expects shipping rates to increase by 5% to 9% in 2018, but said its truck count will remain largely flat.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., one of the biggest U.S. carriers, said earlier this month that rising driver pay, a decline in fleet size and an increase in trucks lacking drivers weighed on third-quarter results in its truckload division. That unit had a 5% drop in revenue from the year-earlier period, though operating income increased 12%.

Drivers often scoff at the idea of a shortage, saying the solution is simple: pay more.

Companies are increasing wages “and they should,” said Mr. Costello. “But it’s about more than pay. It’s about the lifestyle.”

The ATA says the driver shortage is leading to delivery delays, and estimates the shortfall has yet to peak this year. Carriers will need to hire about 898,000 new drivers over the next decade as more truckers retire and the industry expands, according to the group.


Auto-Owners Insurance Named 2017 Company of the Year by National Association of Professional Insurance Agents

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents issued the following news release:

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has named Auto-Owners Insurance Company as the recipient of its prestigious 2017 Company Award of Excellence. The presentation was made on September 15, 2017 at a gala ceremony held in conjunction with PIA’s Board of Directors meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“Auto-Owners is highly deserving of this, our association’s highest company honor,” said PIA National President Gary Blackwell, in presenting the award. “For independent agents, Auto-Owners is a true partner. Many of us have placed Auto-Owners Insurance high among the carriers we represent. There are many good reasons for this: Financial strength and stability. Excellent service. Superior products. Unparalleled quality. And ease of doing business.”

“Perhaps the most important reason we are so loyal to Auto-Owners, is that Auto-Owners is loyal to independent agents,” Blackwell said. “It’s a perfect match!”

The PIA National Company Award of Excellence honors a company for its commitment to PIA, to the American Agency System and to furthering the interests of professional insurance agents by creating a better business environment.

“We are honored and humbly accept this award on behalf of the associates of Auto-Owners that make such awards possible,” said Chairman & CEO Jeff Harrold, who along with Mary Pierce, senior vice president, marketing & sales, was on hand for the presentation.

“In our 101-year history, we have marketed exclusively through the independent agency system and see no reason to change. Like the PIA, whose focus is on enhancing the capabilities and skills of their members, we have found the better we serve our agents, the mutually stronger we become.”

Established in 1916 and headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, Auto-Owners Insurance Group is the 17th-largest property/casualty insurance group in the nation, based on written premium of over $6.3 billion. The company also ranks 398th on the Fortune 500 list.

Auto-Owners, which employs 4,900 associates in the 26 states in which it operates, is one of 12 insurance carrier groups in the U.S. to receive the highest rating possible, A++ Superior, by A.M. Best, which is a nationally recognized rating agency for insurance companies.


Life Insurance in Maumee, Perrysburg, Toledo OH, and Surrounding Areas

So here the best step will be to invest in the right coverage from a licensed and experienced company such as Beck Insurance. This way you can secure the financial future of your family. Our service areas include the different parts of Bryan, OH, Maumee, Napoleon, OH, Perrysburg, Sylvania OH and Toledo.

10 Benefits Unveiled

The top 10 benefits of investing in a life insurance policy include,

  • It will look after your family after your demise. Right from ensuring that your better half gets the required financial security, paying for the children’s education to replacing lost income it will take care of everything, thereby giving you peace of mind.
  • It will help your family in handling an outstanding debt, if any.
  • It will help you in attaining long-term goals like planning your retirement or buying a home. Besides, it will offer you with different investment options.
  • It will help in supplementing your retirement goals which means you can take pleasure of a steady income each month post retirement.
  • Investing in this policy at a younger age will be cost effective.
  • This coverage is not only for you or your family members, but there are some plans that will look after your business as well.
  • It will help you to save taxes regardless of the plan you invest in.
  • It will act as a tool for a forced saving.
  • You may not qualify for this policy later.
  • Lastly, it will offer you absolute peace of mind that your family will be financially secure.

Write to us at for details or have a word with our experts at our toll free number 8774462325.

Life Insurance and Health Insurance in Maumee, Perrysburg, and Toledo OH. Offering Homeowners Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance in Sylvania & Napoleon.

What Makes a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan a Smart Choice?

Like many people, you may take a prescription medicine or two … maybe more. And those costs can really add up, especially people who are 65 or older and are on a fixed income. That’s why you might want to consider adding a prescription drug plan to your Medicare coverage.

 It’s Easy to Get Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

You may already know Original Medicare doesn’t cover the drugs you buy from a pharmacy. But you can easily get prescription drug coverage, known as a Medicare Part D Plan, from private companies in two ways:

1. A stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), which you can add to Original Medicare or a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
2. A Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) that includes prescription drug coverage.

About Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans

A Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage, also called an MAPD plan, can be a great choice because it includes all the benefits of Medicare Parts A (hospital insurance) and B (medical insurance) as well as drug coverage.

Medicare Prescription Coverage and More in Simple, All-in-One Plans

MAPD plans are approved by Medicare to provide your Parts A and B benefits — plus they cover prescription drugs and extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t. By bundling everything together, these MAPD plans make controlling Medicare drug costs and managing all aspects of your medical care easier.

With an MAPD plan, you’ll also receive low monthly premiums, an annual limit on out-of-pocket costs, and additional options that could include wellness programs, fitness memberships, dental, vision and hearing benefits, and more.

Choosing the MAPD Plan That Fits Your Needs

When considering MAPD plans, you’ll want to take into account their coverage and their costs, which can include monthly payments, deductibles, copayments and/or a percentage of a service or drug’s overall cost.

To make the most of your MAPD plan’s Medicare prescription drug coverage, here are a few things to keep in mind:
• All MAPD plans have a list of covered drugs, known as a formulary. It’s required to include common types of drugs, but not specific drugs within each type. Check to make sure any medications you need are included in your plan’s drug list.
• MAPD drug lists place medications into three to six different “tiers” or levels of cost to you. Drugs listed in lower tiers may be generic and generally cost less than drugs listed in higher tiers.
• MAPD plans can specify which pharmacies you must use. If you get a prescription filled by a pharmacy that’s not in your plan, you may pay more or all of the cost.
• Find out if you can save by using a mail-order pharmacy, which typically supplies a two- or three-month refill for a single copayment.

Remember, prescription plans for Medicare (Part D) are optional and you don’t automatically get one with Original Medicare. You have to choose Medicare prescription coverage from a private company. It’s best to make your Part D choice during your Initial Enrollment Period, because if you wait more than 63 days you may be subject to a late enrollment penalty. And when you get Part D bundled into a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug benefits, your MAPD will give you valuable all-in-one coverage.

Call Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777 to schedule your appointment today!

Please note: Some Medicare Advantage plans do not cover prescription drugs, so be sure the plan you choose is an MAPD plan if you want it to include prescription drug coverage.
eptember 07, 2017

Q&A with Next-Gen Agent Brock Cousino, Beck Insurance (story by the OIA, Ohio Insurance Agents Association, Inc.)

At just 25-years-old, Brock Cousino is in the beginning of his career as an independent agent. However, he quickly learned the powerful impact he can have as a trusted risk advisor from an unexpected family hardship.

IA Revolution: Tell me about your background before entering the insurance industry.

Brock Cousino: I graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in sports administration and a minor in business administration. My first job out of college was working in operations management at the Stroh Center, a multi-purpose arena on the campus of Bowling Green State University.

IA Revolution: What made you decide to take the leap into the insurance industry?

BC: While I was working at the Stroh Center, a family friend, Joseph Beck, reached out to me on Facebook and asked if I had any interest in becoming an insurance agent. Honestly, I knew nothing about insurance at the time! We met for dinner to discuss the opportunity, and I asked him a bunch of questions.

After our conversation, I started right away at his agency, Beck Insurance Agency, Inc. located in Archbold, a small town in Northwest Ohio. That was back in November 2014, and I’m still part of the same agency to this day.

IA Revolution: What experience has been most impactful for you as an independent agent?

BC: My parents were actually my first clients. I sold them a $500k combined single limit policy and $1 million umbrella. For their entire lives, they had coverages of only $300k / $100k limits on their auto policy. Little did I know, soon after I sold them this coverage, it would prove invaluable to my family.

On Memorial Day weekend, my sister was driving home alone from a friend’s house. She swerved to miss debris on the highway, and lost control of her car. She went across the median and was t-boned by a car going the other direction on the highway.

Thankfully, the car hit the passenger side, as paramedics said she likely would not have survived the accident if the car hit the driver side. My sister was in the hospital for three days, and the two passengers of the other vehicle were in the hospital for several months.

The claims process took about a year and a half to get settled. With all the medical bills, it was about a $1.2 million claim. The umbrella coverage truly protected my family from financial ruin.

IA Revolution: As a young agent, what are your long-term goals for the future?

BC: I grew up in Toledo and have spent a majority of my life in Northwest Ohio, so my hope is to live in a bigger city at some point in the future. For now, I enjoy working near my hometown and meeting with clients in the Detroit area since my agency also writes insurance in Michigan.

I can see myself being an independent agent for the long run. I absolutely love helping people find the right insurance for their needs. The hardship my family went through truly demonstrates that the right coverage makes all the difference when the unexpected happens.

Story by Breanne George, Ohio Insurance Agents Association, Inc.  Original story here:

Contact Brock at 877-446-BECK (2325) or at

Halloween Safety Guide from Acuity Insurance!

Halloween is fast approaching! Soon your neighborhood will be full of ghosts, cowboys, princesses, movie characters, and many more fun, creative costumes. If you plan on taking your children trick-or-treating, here are some safety tips from Acuity Insurance Company you should follow.

  • Walk safely and put down your phone. Halloween is a busy time in most neighborhoods. There are kids and adults walking around, and it is important to be careful while you are walking. Cross the street at the corners instead of jaywalking, try to stay on the sidewalk or walking paths, and put your phone down and pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Trick-or-treat as a group. If your children are under the age of 12, it is a good idea for them to go with adult supervision. If your child is going with a group of friends, make sure they travel as a group and know the route they are taking before they leave so you know where they will be.
  • Select safe but fun costumes. Be sure your child’s costume does not obstruct their vision too much. Whenever possible, try to use makeup or face paint. Also, if you plan on trick or treating at night, it may be a good idea to put reflective tape on the costumes and bring a flashlight.
  • Select costume props carefully. Props can be very fun to add to a costume, but make sure that the pointy ends of knives, pitchforks, etc. are smooth and flexible.

So stock your house with candy, finalize your kid’s costumes, and get ready to have a fun and safe Halloween! 

Credit:  Lisa D. 10/28/2016, Acuity Insurance Company.

Since housing prices are up significantly in our neighborhood, should our insurance go up as well?

Great question.

There are several types of valuation for a home, which I think will help.

Taxable Appraised value is what the county estimates your home to be worth by assigning a “value” to your home based up on the sale amounts of similar homes in the area. Obviously for the purpose of determining property taxes. These figures can be all over the place, are often out of date, and overall just not very accurate…especially for the purpose of insurance.

Market Value is the amount someone is willing to pay for your home in the free and open market at a particular time.  (no foreclosures, etc..) This value can fluctuate quite a bit depending on the economy, area jobs, schools, features, and more. For example: a small one story home may have an estimated insurable value / replacement cost of $100,000. Place that home in an average neighborhood and it may be worth $70,000. However, place that same home lakefront at a popular lake and the market value could be five times that or more.  Place it in San Diego, and well….you get the idea!

The insurance on your home is based on an estimated replacement cost. This is calculated using factors such as style and quality, number of bathrooms, kitchens, foundation type, building materials, zip code, labor rates, and many other details. It is meant to represent the amount of money required to rebuild a particular home in the event of a total loss. This figure also includes other costs such as demolition, debris removal, and added time to work around other surrounding structures. For the purpose of insurance this is the “correct” and most consistent valuation method to go by.

You should notify your agent when your home undergoes any updates, additions, or alterations.  Here at Beck Insurance we also re-evaluate and update replacement calculations on a routine basis to ensure continued accuracy.

Hope that helps!

Joe Beck, Certified Insurance Couselor

Health Insurance in Maumee, Perrysburg, Toledo OH, and Surrounding Areas

The rising health care expenditure is likely to create a hole in one’s pocket. By paying a small amount of the health insurance premium you can mitigate the monetary losses and attain peace of mind. There cannot be a better way of saving yourself against the worries of hospitalization than availing such insurance plans. If you are interested in these insurance plans, give us a call at Beck Insurance. Our service areas include the different parts of Maumee, Perrysburg, Sylvania OH, Toledo and Wauseon OH.

Benefits Galore

Being a policy holder the different benefits that you will be entitled to include,

  • Laboratory services
  • Newborn and maternity care
  • Day care services
  • Pre as well as post hospitalization charges
  • Reimbursement in non-network hospitals
  • Cashless transactions in hospitalization across different medical facilities

The truth is there is nothing more valuable than good health. With each passing day people are recognizing the significance of good health to live to the fullest. Yet nothing in this world is certain. Our life is filled with surprises (bad or good) and uncertainties. We fall sick or meet with an accident or our loved ones face the same. No matter what the case is when such situations occur, it can deplete our savings and also result in bankruptcy.  What’s next? Mail us your queries at or dial our toll free number 8774462325. We promise to revert back to you shortly.

Health Insurance and Life Insurance in Maumee, Perrysburg, and Toledo OH. Offering Homeowners Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance in Sylvania & Wauseon.

We now also represent Acuity Insurance Company!

Beck Insurance is ecstatic to announce that we have added Acuity Insurance Company to the list of quality companies we represent!

Headquartered in Sheboygan, Wisconsin…Acuity Insurance Company operates in 26 states and provides property and casualty insurance for consumers and businesses.  Acuity Insurance is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best and also has an A+ rating from Standard and Poor’s.

While Acuity Insurance offers a wide range of products such as Home, Auto, Business and more…..Acuity is a leader in the Truck Insurance, Contractors Insurance, and Manufacturing Insurance markets.

Contact Beck Insurance Agency today to learn more about Acuity Insurance Company and what we can do for you!

Interesting fact:  the flag that fly’s on Acuity’s campus is the tallest symbol of freedom in the United States, measuring nearly 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty!  See here:


Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Rates will be released by, and the Health Insurance open enrollment period starts this year on November 1 and ends December 15th. (for a January 1 effective date)

Please contact us today to schedule your Health Insurance appointment as time and availability is limited. Thank you!

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