Trucking Insights: Navigating the Dynamics of the Freight Market – December 21, 2023

Trucking Insights: Navigating the Dynamics of the Freight Market – December 21, 2023

1-Authorities.png
Source: FREIGHTWAVES SONAR

This Freight Market Update for December 21 provides a detailed analysis of recent developments in the freight market and trucking industry, drawing insights from the valuable information shared by Trucking Made Successful on YouTube.

Net Change in Authorities

As of the preceding Friday, December 15th, a significant decrease of 284 carriers week over week has been noted. Throughout 2023, a consistent decline in carriers has persisted, with no month experiencing a surge in carriers. The gradual exit of capacity is evident, paralleled by a chart illustrating a substantial drop in transportation revenues since 2022.

1-Authorities.png
Source: FREIGHTWAVES SONAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TransportationRevenues.png
Source: FTR Intel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spot Vs. Contract Rates

Analyzing the difference between spot and contract rates for 2022 (green) and 2023 (blue), a two-week lag in the presented numbers is observed. Despite this lag, the data indicates that contract rates in 2023 are lower than those in the corresponding period of 2022. Two weeks ago, contract carriers received $0.62 per mile more than spot carriers, with this gap progressively narrowing. Anticipated downsizing and shutdowns among contract carriers may lead to an increase in tender rejections.

Source: FREIGHTWAVES SONAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volumes and Rejections

Freight volumes continue to adhere to the annual cycle, remaining above the levels seen in 2019, 2020, and 2022. While volumes are currently on a downward trend, in line with the year-end pattern, rejections have exceeded 2022 levels, reaching 4.85%. This suggests that approximately 4.85% of total freight is flowing into the spot market. Despite the seasonal decrease in volumes, a substantial surge in spot market volumes is not anticipated at present.

Source: FREIGHTWAVES SONAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: FREIGHTWAVES SONAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diesel Prices

Diesel prices show a downward trend, but a recent slight uptick raises concerns about the future. Comprehensive market recovery assessment requires attention to the expense side of trucking, with the national average currently standing at $4.06 per gallon.

Source: FREIGHTWAVES SONAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spot Market Conditions

Turbulence is observed across all equipment types in the spot market. Contrary to the typical year-end pattern, dry van spot volumes have significantly decreased over the past two weeks. Reefers also experienced volume decreases, deviating from historical expectations. Flatbeds, however, showed no change in volumes, departing from historical patterns that usually indicate an increase.

Source: FTR Intel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: FTR Intel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: FTR Intel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spot market rates continue to disappoint, with dry vans experiencing a further decrease to around $1.95 per mile on average. Reefers are also down to around $2.20 per mile on average, while flatbeds remain stable, though at a low average of around $2.30 per mile.

Source: FTR Intel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: FTR Intel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: FTR Intel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headhaul Index

The headhaul index identifies areas where carriers have negotiating power. For flatbeds, the Pacific Northwest is cooling down, while the South and Southeast present a lack of capacity compared to available freight. 

Source: DAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reefer headhaul map indicates that Central CA and Idaho are better areas, while the Midwest is hit and miss, and the Northeast and Southeast are saturated with reefers.

Source: FREIGHTWAVES SONAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry vans suggest a need for trucks in the Southeast and parts of the Midwest, with an oversupply of trucks in other regions.

Source: FREIGHTWAVES SONAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Go Next Week

For reefers, markets with elevated volumes and rejections include Twin Falls ID (23.64% rejection, volume index of 34) and Ontario CA (10.21% rejection, volume index of 56).

Source: Freightwaves SONAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry vans may find relatively better conditions in Green Bay WI (15.33% rejection, volume index of 64), Rock Island IL (12.15% rejection, volume index of 62), and Columbus OH (7.33% rejection, volume index of 171). Overall, adhering to the Midwest appears to be a relatively safer strategy based on the current market dynamics.

Source: Freightwaves SONAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This insightful update is made possible by the expertise and content shared by Trucking Made Successful on YouTube.

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More

Trucking Update: Navigating the Freight Market Dynamics – December 14 Edition

Trucking Update: Navigating the Freight Market Dynamics – December 14 Edition

Trucking Update: Navigating the Freight Market Dynamics - December 14 Edition
Trucking Update: Navigating the Freight Market Dynamics – December 14 Edition

In the ever-evolving landscape of the trucking industry, staying informed about the latest trends and market shifts is crucial for success. Our latest update from Trucking Made Successful brings insights into the recent changes in truck capacity, rejection rates, diesel pricing, spot market volumes, and more. Let’s dive into the key highlights to help you chart your course in the freight market.

Carrier Numbers and Rejection Rates

The trucking community faced another setback as 360 carrier nets were lost, maintaining a stagnant carrier count since the beginning. Despite a historically low rejection rate at 3.76%, there’s a slight uptick of 3.73% from the previous week. While this rate is lower than the last five years, the recent increase warrants attention.

Trucking Authorities
The trucking community experiences a loss of 360 carrier nets, maintaining a stagnant count since the beginning.

Rejection rate sits at 3.76%, lower than the past 5 years, but with a 3.73% increase from last week.

Diesel Pricing and Regional Trends

Diesel prices experienced a decline from $4.19 to $4.10 per gallon this week. The map indicates unfavorable refueling conditions on the West Coast and the Northeast. Truckers should plan strategically to optimize fuel costs and efficiency.

Refueling is not recommended in any West Coast or Northeast locations based on the map analysis.

Spot Market Volumes

Spot market dynamics have recently shown shifts in volume across various trailer categories:

Dry Van trailer volume has declined, while Reefers, designed for temperature-sensitive cargo, and Flatbeds, commonly used for oversized or unconventional loads, also experienced decreases in spot market volume. 📉

The volume for Dry Van trailers has decreased.

Reefers, designed for temperature-sensitive cargo, have experienced a decline in spot market volume.

Similarly, Flatbeds, commonly used for oversized or unconventional cargo, also saw a decrease in spot market volume.

This indicates a fluid and changing landscape in the spot market, with adjustments in demand and supply for different trailer types.

Spot Rates

Spot rates reflect fluctuations as well:

Dry Van: Decrease to $1.99 per mile, down by $.7 from last week

Reefers: Drop from $2.25 per mile

Flatbeds: No change, maintaining a steady five-year pattern

Volume Volatility

Notable volume increases were observed in New Mexico, Arkansas, parts of Memphis, TN, Wisconsin, Maine, and Upstate New York. Conversely, decreases occurred in Idaho, Pendleton Oregon, North Dakota, Illinois, and Vermont.

This map shows where there is increase and decrease on volume.

Rejection Dynamics

The rejection landscape experienced significant changes, with notable decreases in the Pacific Northwest, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, California, Virginia, and Iowa. Conversely, increases were observed in Arkansas, parts of Houston Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, South Carolina, Connecticut, Upstate New York, Pittsburgh, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming.

This map shows where there is increase and decrease on rejections.

Head Haul Maps

Analyzing head haul maps is crucial for understanding market conditions. Blue indicates more loads than trucks, while red signals overcapacity. The data reveals varying patterns across different trailer types: Dry Vans, Reefers, and Flatbeds.

Dry Van

For Dry Van and Reefer, more loads than trucks. Red means over capacity.

Reefer

For Dry Van and Reefer, more loads than trucks. Red means over capacity.

Flatbeds

This is from DAT map, which gives more accurate data. Meanwhile, this is on the opposite from the other two which blue means over capacity and red means more trucks.

Where to Go – Strategic Insights

To navigate the freight market successfully, matching areas with dark blue on both rejection and volume maps is key. Specific insights for different trailer types include:

Reefers

Twinfalls, Idaho: 22.7% rejection, Volume Index 34%
Southern California: 8% rejection, Volume Index 54%

Dry Vans

Grand Rapids, MI: Rejection 11.27%, Volume Index 113%
Green Bay, WI: Rejection rate of 14.5%, Volume Index 71%
Rock Island, IL: 11% rejection, 65% Volume Index

Market Trajectory and Considerations

As the market trajectory reveals increased truck presence and rising rejection rates, Reefers faces challenges due to overcapacity. Trucking Made Successful notes disappointment in Reefers’ performance, leading to their decision to cease operating in this segment.

In conclusion, staying abreast of market dynamics is pivotal for making informed decisions in the trucking industry. Analyzing rejection rates, regional trends, and volume volatility will empower truckers to navigate the complexities of the freight market successfully. As the year comes to a close, strategic planning based on these insights becomes even more critical. Safe and prosperous hauling!

Trucking Update December 14: Still A Trucking Bloodbath, Still Bouncing At The Bottom

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More

Thanksgiving Week in Trucking: Navigating Challenges, Finding Gratitude, and Charting the Road Ahead – December 1, 2023

Thanksgiving Week in Trucking: Navigating Challenges, Finding Gratitude, and Charting the Road Ahead – December 1, 2023

DOK Insurance Agency

Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Trucking Made Successful on YouTube for valuable insights.

In a recent update as of November 24th, the trucking industry faced a substantial setback with a loss of 2087 carriers’ nets. This unfortunate turn of events marks the highest number of carrier losses in the industry’s history, prompting a closer look at the challenges and dynamics at play.

Performance Overview (2010 until Now)

Despite the significant losses in carrier numbers, there’s a silver lining in terms of overall performance. The freight volume continues to outpace the levels observed in both 2019 and 2022. Additionally, tender rejections, a crucial metric in assessing market conditions, maintain an average of 3.61%, reflecting a positive trend amid the challenges.

 

Diesel Price Landscape

On the fuel front, there’s a glimmer of good news. Diesel prices currently stand at $4.25 per gallon, providing a welcome respite. 

A closer look at the accompanying map reveals an interesting correlation – the darker the blue, the higher the fuel prices, offering valuable insights for industry stakeholders.

Spot Market Rates for Different Hauls

Flatbed

Last week saw a modest increase in flatbed rates, with averages reaching $2.28 per mile. This aligns with a consistent 5-year pattern, showcasing the resilience of this segment despite recent industry hiccups.

Reefers

Unfortunately, reefers experienced a dip in spot rates, dropping to $2.30 from the previous week’s $2.45. This downturn raises questions about the immediate future of this segment and necessitates a closer examination of the factors influencing these fluctuations.

Dry Vans

In a more positive turn of events, dry van rates surged from $1.80 to $2.00 over the past week. This upward trajectory follows a 5-year pattern, instilling a sense of optimism for stakeholders in this category.

As the trucking industry grapples with unprecedented challenges, these updates shed light on the evolving landscape. While carrier losses present a formidable obstacle, the resilience displayed in other key performance indicators and market segments hints at the industry’s ability to adapt and overcome. Industry players are advised to stay vigilant, leveraging insights from these updates to navigate the complexities of the road ahead successfully. For more in-depth analysis and discussions on the trucking industry, be sure to check out “Trucking made successful” on YouTube.

If you want to hear more about this, click on the YouTube link below:

Trucking Update December 1: We Just Lost A Huge Number Of Authorities

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More

Pre-Thanksgiving Freight Industry Report: Navigating Economic Challenges and Market Trends

Pre-Thanksgiving Freight Industry Report: Navigating Economic Challenges and Market Trends

DOK Insurance Agency

Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Trucking Made Successful on YouTube for valuable insights.

As the freight industry approaches Thanksgiving week, a comprehensive analysis reveals a resilient freight volume, fluctuating rejection rates, and intriguing market dynamics. This report, compiled with insights from Trucking Made Successful on YouTube, provides a snapshot of the trucking sector before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Freight Volume Resilience

Despite economic uncertainties, freight volume remains robust, experiencing a notable 7.7% increase. It is normal for rejection rates to rise during this time of the year, with a 6% spike attributed to carriers seeking more time with their families during the holiday season.

Diesel Price Update

As of November 23, the diesel price stands at $4.29 per gallon, bringing relief to carriers. Notably, every market, including California, witnessed a decrease in diesel prices over the past week.

Spot Vs Contract Rates

A critical aspect of the industry, the spot vs. contract market rates reveal a 0.76 per mile difference. While this gap has been decreasing, it’s essential to note that the chart is two weeks delayed, providing a snapshot of historical trends rather than current market conditions.

 

Flatbed Market Insights

The flatbed market remains relatively unchanged, with rates hovering around $2.27 per mile, still below the 5-year average. According to DAT Market Map, fewer commodities are moving in the market, indicating a potential slowdown in certain sectors.

 

Reefer Market Analysis

Reefer volumes have remained flat over the past three weeks, defying expected seasonality patterns. Despite the holiday season approaching, volumes have not seen significant changes, except in specific areas like Northern California, Phoenix Arizona, and parts of Florida. Rejection rates, while increased in some states, are not as high as anticipated for this time of the year.

Highlighted Opportunities for Reefer Market

Reefer operators looking for opportunities before Thanksgiving week should consider Spokane WA, where one-third is experiencing rejection, while half of the loads in Florida and Idaho are rejected. These regions offer relatively better chances for grabbing opportunities.

 

Dry Van Market Trends

Dry van volumes experienced a small increase, but spot market rates decreased to $1.80 per mile. Significant increases in rejection rates were observed in the Midwest and some southern and mid coast regions, with Northern and Western states witnessing a decrease. Wisconsin, Iowa, and Rockland, IL, stand out as regions with around 10% rejection rates, offering better opportunities for dry van operators.

Theories on Market Dynamics:

Trucking Made Successful proposes intriguing theories on the current market dynamics before Thanksgiving. Larger companies appear to be parking their trucks rather than hiring, theoretically decreasing overall capacity. There’s speculation that some carriers, instead of shutting down, have parked their trucks, waiting for a more favorable market before re-entering to capitalize on the holiday season.

As the freight industry navigates economic challenges before Thanksgiving, understanding market trends and potential opportunities is crucial for trucking operators. This report, with insights from Trucking Made Successful, provides a comprehensive overview of the industry’s state before the Thanksgiving holiday, offering valuable information for decision-makers in the trucking sector.

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More

New to becoming an owner-operator?

New to becoming an owner-operator?

DOK Insurance Agency

It’s common for truckers to seek for more independence and wanting to start driving for themselves. If you want to be your own boss, there are a lot of things to think about, plan and know about before you start this new chapter in your life.

Truth is, there are more truckers leaving the industry than entering it, if one only looks at active MCs. Due to the excess of trucking companies started in 2020-2022, shippers are able to offer low rates to truck drivers.

Consider the fact that about 68% of new trucking ventures will not have authority after one month of applying with FMCSA. In Texas, for example 1,251 new FMCSA applications were received in a recent month. Of those, only 401 ended up receiving authority a month later. Why do so many entrepreneurs not get started? We hope the following tips will help.

I. Have a plan:

At this point, you might have already received your business license, have your application with FMCSA pending, and you have a basic idea what kind of truck you want to drive. Do you already have a separate bank account for your business? Do you know which Load Board, Fuel Card, or ELD provider you will use? If you don’t own a truck, are you aware of the cost to lease one, or the down-payment required to buy one?

II. Create a budget AFTER you have some money in the bank:

Sure, as an owner-operator you will enjoy a much higher pay-per-mile than if you drive for someone else. However, from our experience, the biggest reason that a new trucking venture fails is not realizing how expensive it can be to get started and keep going in trucking. Especially with today’s truck shortage, we have seen prices for new and used trucks that would have been unheard of just year ago. If you haven’t already, start using QuickBooks or a similar program to start keeping track of all the cash coming in and going out.

Having money set aside for maintenance is especially important when you drive a truck with significant mileage on it. And when you that transmission needs to be replaced, be ready to rent a replacement truck for a while. We have been made aware of some repairs sometimes taking over a month due to parts and labor shortages.

III. To Lease or Not-to-Lease?

If you have not already, you need to decide if you want to lease onto an existing company or if you want to become your own authority and find your own loads. There are essentially three options to choose from:

  • Become an Independent Carrier: Get your own operating authority. There are higher profit margins and more freedom, but those pros come with more work and oftentimes unwanted obstacles. While you can find consistent work through Amazon Relay, Uber Freight or a number of load boards, it will be up to you to make sure you have work. We strongly encourage having a business partner (i.e. spouse, family member, close friend) that can help you with some of the dispatching and tedious paperwork that is involved in this business.
  • Work as a Leased Owner-Operator: After you buy or lease your own truck, you can go through an existing carrier to use their operating authority. You have control over the equipment and who you lease to, but you can’t walk away from the equipment free and clear. The advantage is that, generally speaking, insurance would be less expensive, and you have a company helping you with load procurement. Those come with a cost, of course, and your pay-per-mile may be less that if you operated under your authority.
  • Lease-Purchase Operator: Sign a lease or a lease-purchase agreement to get a truck through a carrier or third-party leasing company. This is the easiest way to get a truck with little or no down payment or credit, but many drivers sign a lease before they’re ready and get saddled with expensive equipment. Some contracts restrict decision-making, and others make it difficult to take your equipment to other carriers.
IV. Your Health

Maintaining or improving your health while driving a truck full-time is difficult. You might work extremely long days, in a high-stress environment. Your job requires them to meet tight schedules and stay alert for up to 14 hours a day and you remain sedentary for long periods of time and lack of quality food options provide for poor nutrition and diet. When was the last time you had a physical? While many owner-operators think that their $60,000 truck is their most important asset, the truth is the most important asset is You. If you are not well, the business cannot operate.

Come up with a plan to take care of yourself while at home and on the road. Even simple things such as going for a walk at a truck-stop, keeping some weights or exercise bands in your cab and getting the rest you need can make all the difference.

At DOK TRUCKING, we try to help you with more than just finding you the best deal on your insurance. We will be there for you for the long-haul and are looking forward to finding out how we can help you.

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More

Admitted vs. non-admitted insurance companies

Admitted vs. non-admitted insurance companies

DOK Insurance Agency

In short, an admitted insurance company, often called a “standard/preferred company” has been approved by a state’s insurance department, whereas a non-admitted insurance company, often called a “non-standard company or” or “excess and surplus line company” is not backed/regulated by the state.

What are admitted and non-admitted insurance carriers?

An admitted insurance company is backed and regulated by the state, which means:

  • If you have a concern about the insurance company (for example, the way they are handling your claim), you can ask the state insurance department to look into your concern.
  • The insurance company must comply with the rules and regulations set by their state’s department of insurance.
  • If the insurance company fails financially, the state will step in to make payments on claims as necessary.

A non-admitted insurance company is not approved by the state, meaning:

  • If policyholders think their case was handled improperly, they can’t appeal to the state insurance department.
  • The insurance company can set rates and policy details without needing approval from the state
  • If the insurance company becomes insolvent, there is no guarantee that claims will be paid, even if the case is active at the time of the bankruptcy or financial failure.
What are some other differences between admitted and non-admitted insurance policies?

Many times, non-admitted policies require premiums that are paid in full for the year, so no payment plans are available. That is why larger non-admitted policies are often financed, which means that you are essentially borrowing money from a third-party, which in return pays the insurance company in full. If that is the case, you can expect to pay about 10% in interest.

Even though non-admitted policies exist to help hard-to-insure risks, sometimes insurance agents sell them to clients even though an admitted policy is available. As an insurance agent, we are required, by law, to check with at least three standard insurance companies before trying to sell a non-standard insurance policy.

Before purchasing an insurance policy that reads “Non-Admitted” on the quote, ask your agent the following questions:

  • Did you check your admitted carrier markets for quotes for me?
  • What is the financial rating of this insurance company?
  • If I cancel after a few days, how much money will not be refunded?
  • How does the process look for making policy changes?
  • Does the insurance company handle their own claims or do they hire a third-party?
T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More

Washington insurance credit ban

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an order on March 23, 2021, that bans the use of credit in setting insurance rates for new and renewing policies as of June 20, 2021. That credit-ban applies to rates for auto, homeowners and renters insurance for three years. On April 23, 2021, a Superior Court judge denied the request for a preliminary junction. The ruling means that Kreidler’s emergency rule is to be enforced.

Therefore, insurance companies in Washington will have to make new filings with the state insurance department ASAP for rate structures that don’t use credit for the affected policies.

In my thirteen years of owning an insurance agency, no change has been as significant and this quick to be implemented. To put things in perspective, insurance companies sometimes wait over one year to have their proposed rate changes approved by the state, and that is after they spent years analyzing what premiums to charge. In the past days, I have spoken to a few insurance companies and all of them are scrambling to figure out how to best handle this credit ban.

Why is there a credit ban?

Insurance companies have used credit-based insurance scores when setting rates for nearly thirty years. Even though insurance agencies and agents don’t know what a client’s score is, we usually have a basic idea if the final premium was heavily influenced by credit.

To use an arbitrary example, let’s say the base premium (the premium before any rating factors are applied) is $1,000 for an auto policy. Insurance based credit alone, could create a premium range of $600 (best credit) and $1,500 (worst credit).

While insurance companies and industry groups have shown that credit-based insurance scores accurately predict risk, consumer advocacy groups have long argued that the scores are innately discriminatory. For example, the Consumer Federation of America says the use of non-driving factors such as credit have disproportionately harmed Black drivers, according to several reports between 2013 and 2020.

Frequently asked questions

What is credit scoring?

Currently, insurance companies are allowed to use credit information when deciding whether or not to offer someone insurance and to calculate how much to charge them.

When will the new ban go into effect?

June 20th, 2021

Is the ruling final?

All indications are that the ban will remain as is.

Do all insurance companies have to comply to this rule?

Yes

Will my rate change on June 20th?

The credit ban will have an impact on your rate once your policy renews after June 19th, 2021.

I have an excellent credit score. How likely is it that my premium will go up?

Assuming that nothing else changed (discounts, tickets, accidents), and that your credit was excellent the last time your policy was rated, it is very likely that your premium will go up. How much is impossible to know at this point.

My credit is bad. Will this mean that my car insurance will be cheaper?

Assuming that nothing else changed (discounts, tickets, accidents), and that your credit was poor the last time your policy was rated, it is very likely that your premium will go down. How much is impossible to know at this point.

My credit is average. What will happen to my premium?

We are guessing that average credit scores will be the mean insurance rate for the foreseeable future, meaning that you will most likely see the smallest change due to this new ruling.

I don’t have any credit. Will my rate change?

Good question. Each insurance company handles situations where client does not have any credit score differently. If a no-score was heavily surcharged, you might see a decrease in premium.

Is Washington State the only one doing this?

In fact, other states, including California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Hawaii have banned credit based premium scoring for many years.

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More

Reducing cyber threats in the transportation sector

Reducing cyber threats in the transportation sector

DOK Insurance Agency

Technology advances are transforming the way all industries conduct business, including the transportation and trucking sector. The Internet of Things (IoT), for example, is integrating transportation and warehouse management solutions, connecting in-vehicle sensors and other integrated devices over the network. Embedded sensors in transport vehicles, containers, etc. continuously capture, share, and act on real-time data to improve the quality of customer service, enforce laws and regulations, and reduce liability cost. These and other digital innovations, while providing many benefits for transportation companies, also widen the path to cyber security threats.

In fact, the transportation and trucking sector is increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats as a result of “the growing reliance on cyber-based control, navigation, tracking, positioning, and communications systems, as well as the ease with which malicious actors can exploit cyber systems serving transportation,” according to an analysis conducted by IBM.

Cyber criminals hack trucking companies for several reasons, including:

  • To steal cargo
  • Gain access to customers through system connections
  • Gain identity information credit cards and Personal Identifiable Information (PII), which can then be sold
  • Prevent use of company website or information systems
  • Obtain a company’s intellectual property
  • Gain control of critical data to encrypt the information and ransom it
  • To create fear and chaos by disrupting critical infrastructure; among others

With so much at stake – including the cost to pinpoint vulnerabilities once a breach occurs, notification expenses if data has been compromised, third-party liability, extortion, business interruption, reputational damage, etc. – transportation companies need to create and maintain a cyber security plan.

Following are several measures companies should implement:

  • Train employees on the use of best practices when it comes to security protocol. Training should be conducted frequently, particularly when new technology is adopted. Employees should be trained on such issues as how to generate strong passwords, how to recognize phishing email scams, and how to properly encrypt emails that contain secure information.
  • Run a comprehensive malware and antivirus program for both software and operating systems and apply patches in a timely manner with a tool that can automate the process and provide compliance reporting.
  • Update security patches and limit password attempts. It’s critical for a trucking company to be proactive when it comes to keeping its system codes updated.
  • Create frequent backups and a “hacked” disaster recovery plan. Make sure a cloud-based backup is maintained, with a comprehensive plan in the event that there is a hack.
  • Review the company’s IT environment for vulnerabilities and update systems accordingly. It’s important to stay one step ahead of hackers and keep abreast of changes from password timeouts to new malware protection advances.

In addition to having strong cyber security protocols, a Cyber Liability insurance program should be in place to respond in the event of a breach or other cyber crime. DOK Trucking specializes in insuring the transportation industry and provides end-to-end coverage solutions, including cyber protection.

As always, our team at DOK Insurance Agency is here to help where we can. For more information or questions about cyber insurance, please email info@dokagency.com or give us a call at 425-242-5252. You may also chat and start a conversation with one of our agents online by clicking on the chat button below our page.

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More

Inexpensive fixes for a safer home

Inexpensive fixes for a safer home

DOK Insurance Agency

When we talk about home improvement, it’s not always about the looks – it can also be about making your home work better. No matter what you are aiming for, investing back into your space by making your home safer should be a priority before anything else.

There are plenty of simple maintenance tasks and other improvements you can handle to make your home safer – whether you’re handy or not. And you won’t have to break out the power tools (or any tools at all in some instances) or worry about getting in over your head.

DOK Insurance Agency

Water Works

You need running water in your home – but not water running in your home, if you know what we mean. Even minor leaks can cause major problems, from higher water bills to damage requiring costly repairs (maybe even the kind you can’t tackle yourself).

Here are some easy ways to make sure your water stays where it should:

Check your appliances. They’re the most common source of water leaks in homes, so it’s worth taking a look at least once a year to check for problems. And the hoses that come with your washer and dishwasher can mean big trouble – they break down over time. Look for kinks and cracks, and replace if needed. Consider using reinforced hoses, too; those with steel braiding or mesh won’t hold up forever, but they’re stronger than rubber or plastic.

Watch the pressure. Water pressure that is set too high can cause pipes, hoses and water lines to leak or burst. Inexpensive gauges are available at home-improvement stores to test your pressure.

Consider installing water sensors such as Flo by Moen. Flo by Moen is a smart water shutoff device that can alert you to a leak or other problem in your home soon after it occurs.

It can even send messages right to your smartphone! It basically works three ways: help you conserve water, save money, and protect your home.

Good News! Flo is collaborating with Safeco Insurance to provide customers of Safeco agents with a special discount.

Just click the widget on the right to enjoy the discount and learn more.

DOK Insurance Agency

Keep your family and your guests on their feet

Millions of Americans – many of them older adults – are injured in falls each year. Look around your home. Should you make some of these fixes?

Reduce clutter. Everything from small pieces of furniture to area rugs can pose a hazard, so make sure they’re in appropriate places and out of the way if possible.

Add stability to stairs. Make sure stairways have sturdy rails, and maybe even non-slip strips, particularly outdoors.

Let there be light. It’s hard to walk safely when you can’t see obstacles or potential trouble spots. Make sure your home is well-lit, and don’t forget night lights, too.

DOK Insurance Agency

Give everyone some air

Pollution isn’t just an outside thing – the air in your home can be unhealthy, too. But helping people breathe a little easier isn’t hard when you follow these steps:

Test the air (and your detectors). Make sure you have working carbon-monoxide and smoke detectors and test them regularly. Also, consider testing your home for radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be dangerous over time.

Check your filters and ducts. Keeping your furnace filter and air ducts clean will keep your air cleaner as well. And consider adding some of nature’s air filters: plants.

Keep your home clean. Dust doesn’t just build up on the furniture – it ends up in the air as well. Regular cleaning means cleaner air (just be sure to use safe products).

Home improvement doesn’t have to mean a kitchen remodel or finishing the basement. Making your home safer, in fact, just might be the best improvement of all.

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More

Why you need umbrella insurance for you & your business

Why you need umbrella insurance for you & your business!

DOK Insurance Agency

Commercial umbrella insurance helps protect your business from the financial risks of large lawsuits against your company. It is designed to give you additional coverage above and beyond your liability coverage limits should they become exhausted. In other words, commercial umbrella insurance takes over when your other liability coverage limits have been reached.

In most cases, commercial auto and commercial general liability (CGL) provide up to $1 million in coverage for covered losses. But $1 million may not be enough to fully cover your business’ liability exposures. For example, if you need $3 million for a settlement, your general liability insurance would pay for the $1 million and you would be responsible for paying the additional $2 million (out of your pocket). But if you have an umbrella policy, it could cover the excess up to your limit.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported that in 2001 (which is the most recent available statistics), state courts in the nation’s 75 most populated counties held an estimated 11,908 trials in tort, contract, and real property cases. The statistics provided in Table 1.1 below shows the prevalence of tort verdicts over $1 million.

Verdicts of over $1 million can be fairly common, depending on the exposure. For example, for insureds manufacturing products, the 2001 BJS statistics show a 39.1% chance of a verdict over $1 million in a product liability claim. For premises exposures (which is most common among policyholders), the chance of a verdict over $1 million is 9.1%. These statistics clearly indicate that any policyholder who gets sued can be exposed to a significant probability of liability over a typical $1 million limit of a primary business auto or CGL policy.

Multi-million dollar verdicts are more common in wrongful death claims. Based on the total number of tort trials, BJS reported a distinct portion of concerned claims involved one or more persons died as the result of the actions or inactions of the defendant. Table 1.2 shows the median size of plaintiff awards in death claims tried to a verdict in 2001.

These statistics demonstrate that a policyholder’s exposure to verdicts of over $1 million escalates when plaintiffs allege that the policyholder is responsible for someone’s death. In other words, it is much more likely that the policyholder will be responsible to pay more than $1 million if the claim involves death.

Another way of assessing the level of a policyholder’s potential exposure to claims of over $1 million would be to survey the top 100 jury verdicts entered in a given year. Although it’s not that reliable, such a survey could enable the policyholder to have an estimate of the probable maximum severity of a variety of claims. In 2005, the top 100 jury verdicts included several cases involving common auto and CGL exposures, some of which are shown in Table 1.3.

Such cases demonstrate the importance of purchasing coverage in excess of the typical $1 million limit commonly provided by most auto and CGL policies to provide extra liability protection for your business.

Remember, the more your business interacts with customers and clients, the higher your liability risk will be. And your risks can even be greater if your employees are using heavy machinery or dangerous equipment.

To learn more about how umbrella insurance can give your business an extra protection, get a quote today. As always, our team at DOK Insurance Agency is here to help where we can. Please feel free to email info@dokagency.com, chat with us live, or give us a call at (425) 242-5252.

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

Our Insurance Partners

The great thing about an independent insurance brokerage like the DOK Insurance Agency is that we can offer insurance policies from literally hundreds of insurance companies and still be your advocate to each one of them.

Get a free insurance quote today

We are an independent insurance brokerage that offers a wide variety of services.

We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.

Read More