Blog

Corn & Soybean Day!

Friday, January 18th, 2019

A big thanks go to the Fulton County OSU Extension office for putting this event on year after year, and allowing Beck Insurance Agency the opportunity to continue being a part of it!

This event of course would not be possible if it weren’t for all of the Northwest Ohio farmers and other venders that attend each year….so thank you as well!

#FarmInsurance #BeckInsurance

I am travelling to Europe, does my car insurance cover me there?

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

No.  Auto insurance policies in the US only provide coverage in the United States, US Territories, and Canada.  If you plan to drive in any other locations you will want to secure the insurance available there.

Updating your fleet equipment. (Trucking)

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Are you considering updating your company’s heavy trucks and trailers and, if so, what factors do you use to make these decisions? One thing is certain, there is no right or wrong answer, as a crop farmer’s needs will be completely different than a regional general freight motor carrier. Every trucking operation is unique, and every owner looks for different things in their trade-in cycle. However, we can discuss some common items for you to consider when updating your equipment.

Trucking Insurance

Equipment Specification. Make sure the equipment, whether new or used, fits your operational needs and is spec’d accordingly. Is the engine the correct size, the axles appropriate for weight and gear ratio, the frame the correct length, and the fifth wheel able to be adjusted for your trailers and loads? Depending on the freight you are hauling, is your trailer as universal as possible to meet various load configurations and weights your customers might expect?

What Do You Want to Afford? If you are financing a vehicle, you should ask yourself, “What can I afford?” followed by “What do I want to afford?” Remember, the average term of a truck or trailer loan is 60 months, so you should be sure your income is secure for at least the next 5 years. For example, in the case of a farmer, it must be determined the equipment will be utilized enough to justify the ongoing monthly payments.

Maintenance. The cost of running older equipment is not always limited to mechanical breakdowns and repairs. Unless you have a good maintenance program, CSA violations can also contribute to the cost of operation.

Warranty. Manufacturers are providing some pretty good warranty options on new trucks—many coming standard with 5-year or 500,000-mile warranties. Many larger fleets are buying trucks in bulk, sometimes saving $10,000 to $15,000 per truck. They run these trucks up to 380,000 miles and get a good trade value as they still have 120,000 miles of warranty.

Fuel Economy. Just a decade ago, 5 or 6 miles per gallon was considered good, with some trucks getting 4. Truck technology has changed, and some fleet applications are claiming to see 8 miles per gallon from their fleet.

Driver Satisfaction. Drivers today have a lot of choices—especially professional drivers with years of experience and a clean MVR. What differentiates your company to attract and retain drivers of this caliber? Nice equipment is often thought to be a part of that equation.

Financing. New model trucks are usually easier to finance and often qualify for lower interest rates. The higher cost of buying new when considered with the lower APR can sometimes make more financial sense than buying used. This is important as the standard over-the-road truck is now selling for $140,000 to $150,000, while used equipment commonly runs between $30,000 and $90,000.

Depreciation and Resale Value. Like all new vehicles, trucks and trailers depreciate fairly quickly, so the resale value will drop significantly in the first year. In some circumstances, buying used enables you to recoup your initial investment should you decide to sell the equipment.

Regulations. Are you in trucking for the long term? If so, consider the required CARB regulations when traveling in some states. This can end up costing truckers $16,000 to $18,000 for compliance on a used truck, whereas a new truck is already compliant.

Content provided by Cliff J., trucking insurance specialist at Acuity Insurance.  Original blog post can be found here.

For a quote on your trucking operation please contact Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777, or click here.

Why is my house insurance limit so high?

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Some great points courtesy of Acuity Insurance, on a topic we hear about frequently….

Why does it cost more to rebuild after a loss compared to new construction? Shouldn’t the costs be about the same?

The answer is no. Reconstruction almost always costs more than brand-new construction, particularly when there has been a partial loss, and there are several reasons why.

• Repairing a building after a partial loss often means working from the top down, which is a far more time-consuming and labor-intensive process compared to building from the bottom up

• Typically, remnants of the damaged structure need to be removed before reconstruction can begin. Demolition and debris removal are expenses that add up before the first cement can be poured or the first nail hammered in.

• Current building codes are often stricter than those that were in force when the original structure was built, requiring more expensive materials and methods for compliance. In some cases, even undamaged parts of a structure may need to be rewired or re-plumbed to meet current codes.

• In the wake of natural disasters, building material costs rise sharply, and this can add thousands of dollars to the cost. Labor availability may also be more limited, further increasing costs.

• Reconstruction sites can present additional challenges, including difficult access to the worksite and the need to protect undamaged portions of the building.

Of course there are more factors, but these are some excellent points!  Thanks Acuity!

For more information or quotes on your home insurance please call or click.  419-446-2777.

Have a great day!  Beck Insurance Agency, Inc., Archbold, Ohio.

 

Why do I need an Umbrella policy?

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

Here is example #5,345 of why you need an umbrella policy!

Yours truly, (Joe Beck) took the family out west for a quick vacation. En route to the Santa Monica Pier we passed through Hollywood to be tourists and gawk a bit……

It didn’t take long before I nearly crashed into a $600,000 Rolls Royce in our rental car. (missed it by mere inches at 60 mph!)

Bijan Rolls Royce Phantom (yellow) parked along Rodeo Drive. Value $1,600,000

It was either cut the car off and risk hitting it, or for sure smash into the back of a Jaguar. (I didn’t know the model of the RR at the time…otherwise I would have picked the Jaguar!)

Think of the financial devastation you would incur if that happened and you didn’t have an umbrella policy.  Especially if you had lower liability limits as well.

Yikes!! 

Contact Beck Insurance Agency in Archbold, Ohio today to see how little higher auto liability limits and a personal umbrella policy actually costs.  Call 419-446-2777, or click here.

We serve all of Ohio as well as Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.  All lines of insurance……

Contact Beck Insurance for your full Farm Insurance assessment today!

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Beck Insurance Agency has the experience and expertise required to identify and measure your farms’ exposure to loss….and the markets and tools necessary to create a sound plan to properly manage those risks.

Our comprehensive plans provide coverage for your primary home, rental dwellings, farm buildings, machinery, tools, autos, heavy trucks, grain handling equipment, farm and personal liability, livestock, fluctuating schedules for grain, seed and fertilizer, pollution, extra expense, succession planning with life and long term care, health, medicare supplements, and more.

Farm Insurance

So now that your bins are full and your machinery is being put away, give Beck Insurance Agency a call at 419-446-2777.

Let us demonstrate what we can do for you and your operation.

Joe Buller joins Beck Insurance Agency!

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Beck Insurance is pleased to announce the hiring of Joe Buller.

Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Farm Insurance, Joe Buller

Joe comes to Beck Insurance with 22 years of insurance experience.  He started his insurance career in 1996 and has experience at both the carrier and agency levels.  Joe grew up in a farming community in southwestern Minnesota and relocated to the Monclova, Ohio area a few years ago.

Joe will be focusing his time on Commercial Risks, Farms, Life, and Long Term Care.

Please contact Joe for all your commercial / business insurance needs!

jbuller@beckinsurance.com  /  419-446-2777  /  Online Here

Thank a Farmer Today!

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Today, 10/12/2018, is National Farmers Day so take some time to thank a farmer!

Top 10 Fascinating Farming Facts For National Farmer’s

  1. Farming employs more than 24 million American workers.  (17% of the total workforce)
  2. Agricultural efficiency has increased over the past century from 27.5 acres / worker in 1890 to 740 acres / worker in 1990.
  3. Seeds had to be scattered by hand until Jethro Tull’s seed drill (developed in 1701) made it possible to plant seeds in rows, which could then be easily hoed.
  4. The word “farm” is from the Old French ferme, meaning to “rent, lease,” and the Latin firmare, “to fix, settle, confirm, strengthen.”
  5. In 1954, the number of tractors on farms surpassed the number of horses and mules for the first time.
  6. Approximately 60% of the farmers in the United States are 55 years old or older.  Aging farmers have led to concern about the long-term health of family farms.
  7. Farmers today produce 262% more food with 2% fewer inputs (such as seeds, labor, fertilizers) than they did in 1950.
  8. Raising beef cattle is the single largest segment of American agriculture.  The United States produces more beef than any other country.
  9. Farmers often plant tall, dense trees on the edges of fruit farms.  These trees provide windbreak, which helps prevent soil erosion.
  10. More than 100 agricultural crops in the U.S. are pollinated by bees.  In fact, one out of three bites of food people eat is thanks to honeybees.

Source:  https://www.factretriever.com/farming-facts

Beck Insurance Agency specializes in and has the knowledge, experience, and markets to effectively manage the unique exposures to risk that today’s farmers face.  Call Beck Insurance at 419-446-2777, drop us an email at info@beckinsurance.com, or submit your request online here to begin the review process.

Ohio Plan 30 Year Founding Member

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Beck Insurance Agency was recently honored for being a founding member and agency partner with The Ohio Plan.  The 30 year partnership between Beck Insurance Agency, The Ohio Plan, Hylant Administrative Services, the other agency partners, and most of all the 200+ Ohio Plan Members has far exceeded our expectations.  Conrad Beck was on hand to accept the honor on behalf of Beck Insurance Agency.  Here is to 30 more!

For more information on Beck Insurance Agency, Conrad Beck, The Ohio Plan & The Ohio School Plan or…….please click here.

Conrad can be reached at 419-446-2777, cbeck@beckinsurance.com, or by contacting us here.

Cab Essentials for the Road

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

If you have ever taken your family camping, you know there is a lot to pack. Food, clothing, activities, and so much more. Similarly, truck drivers must understand the items needed on the open road. This knowledge is shared from driver to driver. We then add to this wisdom from our own experiences and personal needs. For example, a long-haul driver operating from coast to coast will need different resources than a local driver who is home most nights. Drivers need to be prepared for delays due to weather, inability to get loaded or unloaded, breakdowns, inspections, fatigue, and even sickness.

Truck Insurance

Here is a short list of items I found necessary to keep in my truck in a regional trucking operation:

1.An emergency preparedness kit. It is sometimes difficult to predict what we will encounter on roadways. As a result, the emergency kit should contain extra batteries, gloves, a flashlight, a sleeping bag, winter clothing when in season, non-perishable foods, extra medication, an extra pair of prescription glasses, a basic tool kit, duct tape, spare bulbs, jumper cables, extra fuses, bottled water, a foldable shovel, window deicer, emergency flares, an extra cell phone charger, and a first-aid kit.

2.Extra money. If your credit card quits working, you lose your wallet, or the store’s power is out, a few hundred dollars tucked away in a safe place can come in handy when you need to spend the night or purchase provisions.

3.Keep your food cold. If your truck is not equipped with a refrigerator, an insulated cooler is important in preserving perishable food items and keeping your drinks cold.

4.How are you cooking? A lot of drivers used to use little propane stoves to prepare meals in their trucks and save money on food costs. My preference is a microwave, which many trucks are now equipped with or have a converter or an APU. A microwave can make a big difference in comfort for a long-haul driver.

5.Another alternative is a slow cooker. Meat, potatoes, and fresh vegetables can be a satisfying end to a long day. A slow cooker allows you to prepare your own healthy food with minimal effort. However, make sure it is secured so it does not cause injury in the event of a sudden stop.

6.Food for truck drivers is no longer one size fits all. Many cultures and tastes influence our food choices. I chose to stock up on items that remained safe at room temperature and could be easily prepared, such as granola bars, bread, peanut butter, jelly, apples, bananas, nut varieties, deli meat, cans of soup, and water—lots and lots of water. There are a lot of healthy choices out there. Google and decide what works best for you.

7.Paper towels and wet wipes were essential items for me. They can be used for maintaining personal cleanliness, as a cleaning cloth in the truck, or as a rag to complete an unexpected repair.

8.Extra clothing. You will need several changes of clothing, depending on the duration of your trip. I found that extra socks, underwear, gloves, and footwear could make life much more comfortable in unexpected events such as weather and breakdowns.

9.Personal hygiene items, including deodorant, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a comb, mouthwash, and floss.

10.Know where you are going. A motor carrier map can prove very helpful in arriving safely to your destination. Understanding your route options and identifying toll roads, inspection stations, and roadway and bridge restrictions can prove invaluable. Personally, I used a trucker’s road atlas first and GPS as a second referral only while driving.

11.Stay warm and pack essentials. If you have ever been really cold and alone, you will identify with why I also kept a small propane heater stowed away. The same holds true for a portable toilet. Whether trapped in a traffic jam or in a remote location, having extra toilet paper and a clean portable toilet can bring a lot of comfort in those emergency situations of life on the road.

When you are stopped, take some pictures to share with family and friends, and remember to take the time to enjoy your trucking experience—appreciate the sunrises and sunsets, the old barns and cattle grazing, and the mountains you encounter along America’s roadways.

Cliff J. on August 15, 2018 in Trucker Focus , Acuity.

Interested in an insurance review and competitive bids on your Trucking Operation?  Call Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777, send an email to joe@beckinsurance.com , or click here.