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UBER UPDATE – TNC INSURANCE BILL ADVANCES   HF 1783 / SF 1679 the industry-supported bills to close the Transportation Network Company coverage gaps made their way through the House Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce and Transportation Committees this week. As a result of negotiations among the parties involved, an amendment was adopted that decreases the liability limits required in Period 1 (app on, trolling for a fare) to $50,000 /$100,000/ $30,000, with an additional $200,000 of excess coverage provided by the TNC. The lower limits in Period 1 are more in line with what is required of taxis and are similar to what has been passed in California and Utah. Minneapolis and St. Paul city ordinances already require Uber to insure drivers for $1 million after they’ve accepted a fare and are transporting a passenger. The concerns over insurance gaps for TNC’s are punctuated by the 2013 death of 6-year-old Sophia Liu of San Francisco, whose family was struck in a crosswalk by an Uber driver who was awaiting a fare request. That incident led to a lawsuit against Uber over insurance liability. As a result, California became the first state to pass a measure requiring that Uber supply its drivers with bodily injury liability coverage, and numerous other states are following suit. Uber claims they will not be able to continue operations in Minnesota if this legislation passes, but it seems that they have still been able to make a go of it in California, following their increased requirements. Uber maintains that no coverage gaps exist and that this is “legislation searching for a problem.” What Uber is NOT telling their drivers, is that they DO NOT have coverage for their personal vehicles under their Personal Auto Policies while they are driving for Uber. Uber needs to quit taking advantage of their drivers, step up to the plate and provide the coverage that their drivers cannot yet get elsewhere. For more information, visit: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/03/17/ride-hailing-insurance-bill-could-drive-uber-from-twin-cities/ and http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/296801851.html.

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It is that time of year again and we wish MN deer hunters luck as they head afield this weekend. Nearly 500,000 Minnesotans participate in the annual ritual and resident and non-resident hunters alike spend big bucks in hopes of bagging the big one. Hunters’ dough gets distributed to motels and cafes, bars and restaurants grocery, convenience and sporting goods stores, the DNR for hunting licenses and, if you are lucky enough, the local butcher. Deer clearly have a huge economic impact on Minnesota. But, the critters also literally create another form of recurring impact for the state’s residents: losses due to deer–car collisions. While Minnesota hunters thinned the herd by 192,300 deer last year, Minnesota motorists typically take out an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 more. The good news is that deer/motor vehicle crashes have decreased in the past decade, likely due to the fact that only about one-third of deer crashes are reported. In the 1990s, the state averaged around 6,000 deer crashes each year. In 2004, there were 4,900 reported deer crashes, and in 2011 this number dropped to 2,426. While the number of car/deer collisions has been decreasing despite herd population fluctuations, the number of (human) injury and fatality related deer crashes appears to fluctuate along with it. Overall, the fatality rate has increased over the last two decades, with the increase in motorcycle sales a likely factor. In the 3-year period of 2009–2011 there were 7,639 deer crashes in Minnesota resulting in 15 deaths of which 13 were motorcyclists. The crashes also resulted in 60 serious injuries of which 59 were motorcyclists.

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Ray Thomes Donates Fire Mark Collection

Pictured from l-r: Tim Blahnik, Blahnik Insurance Services, Savage; PIA National Director Tom Deml, Deml Insurance Agency, Little Falls; Phil Sterner, Sterner Insurance Agency, Apple Valley; Past-PIA President and former PIA Marketing Director, Ray Thomes, Thomes Insurance Agency, Buffalo; PIA President Pete Thomes, Safeguard Insurance Agency, Milaca; Past-President Eric Lardy, Lardy's Insurance Agency, Eagan; and Dennis Overland, Overland Insurance Agency, Rushford.

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Ribbon Cutting

Pictured from l-r: PIA National Director Tom Deml, Deml Insurance Agency, Little Falls; past-president Eric Lardy, Lardy's Insurance Agency, Eagan; Mark Miller, Sunrise Park Insurance Agency, White Bear Lake; Tim Blahnik, Blahnik Insurance Services, Savage; Phil Sterner, Sterner Insurance Agency, Apple Valley; PIA President Pete Thomes, Safeguard Insurance Agency, Milaca; and Dennis Overland, Overland Insurance Agency, Rushford.

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The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) recently announced the formation of a groundbreaking partnership with cutting-edge Internet marketing firm Agoragate that will enable participating agents to dramatically increase their visibility online, positioning them as the “Local Insurance Hero” in their communities when people search the web for insurance.

“It is already well established that while people may start their search for insurance online, they want to buy their insurance from a local insurance professional in their community,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Leonard C. Brevik. “Until now, bringing web searchers together with local insurance agents has been difficult. Now with PIA and Agoragate, Main Street insurance agents can attract the customers who are already out there looking for them.”

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Featured Benefit

DocIT for Agents

 Agents are saving time quoting auto insurance, reducing MVR chargeback fees from carriers and other MVR costs, and making auto insurance sales more profitable for their agency by using DocIT for Agents. PIA members contact Drivers History at 856.673.1286 or pia@drivershistory.com

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PIA of Minnesota
8646 Eagle Creek Circle, Suite 202
Savage, MN 55378

Phone: 866-694-7070
Fax: 866-749-8678

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