“NAL Insurance offers the best coverage available”. Terry Everett.
Terry Everett, Personal Service Advisor of NAL PATH Insurance Brokers Inc. is serving trucking industry for about 15 years. He also supports DorogaRoad as some of his regular customers are Canadian-Russian trucking companies. We met Terry in his office in Woodbridge, Ontario.
DorogaRoad: Terry, there is your ad on page 16 of every issue DorogaRoad featuring insurance package called First Choice. There is quite a detailed explanation what First Choice is; nevertheless, I’ll ask you to tell me why it is a really attractive option for a truck driver or owner operator in search for insurance?
Terry Everett: There is a law called The Law of Reversal, which states, “If you want health, wealth and prosperity and 99% of the people around you are not experiencing these things, you need to do the exact opposite of whatever everyone else is doing. NAL, the National Auto League insurance shows how to do that by offering what is called Fleet Coverage. Our competitors cannot do this. At least not yet. Eventually, they will catch up to us. We hope, however, that we stay on top of the playing field and continue to advance the type of coverage that we offer to owner operators, trucking companies, and anyone in the trucking industry.
First of all, we always ask the question: “Can you afford the risk?” People believe insurance is evil with all the ads on TV, insurance companies talk. What in the reality, they should be thinking is:” Can I afford the risk?” The number one question here is why should transportation companies have income replacement for their drivers? They can reduce their company’s exposure to legal claims from the owner operators, they reduce turnover, attract more qualified owner operators, and increase loyalty and commitment to the company. What I am saying, there is a Fleet Coverage.
Number two. How can we achieve this? First choice is a comprehensive disability plan. It has additional contractual agreements that help reduce owner liability. Second choice is easy administration. You eliminate the time-consuming reconciliations with the help of web-based administrations.
It is a non-cancellable coverage. The coverage cannot be cancelled regardless of claims experience.
Next one is competitive pricing. Our fleet pricing will lower the cost of insurance per driver. These days, with the fuel costs going through a roof, if we can save for a driver from three to six hundred dollars a year on his insurance – that is our objective. That is what we are here for.
We have, what we believe is the best product. We have the most comprehensive definition of disability. Therefore, your operators’ claims are more likely to be paid. We have flexibility, which helps with recruiting and retention - you get to keep the best drivers.
We have superior service. We say, “Service is everything. Expect to be impressed”. Certainly, the agents we have within the NAL are hands-on people. They visit the trucking companies; they visit the clients all the time. This fact is very important.
We have prorated premiums, so you only pay for the coverage that you use. Drivers as we know come and go, so the companies only pay for the usage of that coverage. We pay claims fast and easy. With the truck insurance, we protract your rates, since the drivers have the appropriate coverage.
DorogaRoad: Let me ask you another question. Your ad also claims that in case of a serious injury insurant or his or her family will receive $300 000.
Terry Everett: Correct.
DorogaRoad: Have any of your clients received such amount?
Terry Everett: Touch wood. No (laughs), no one. We look after a little over 15 000 truckers and no one has yet collected, thank God, the three hundred thousand. That is a good thing since it is released on death and total disability.
DorogaRoad: Do you concentrate only on the truckers, or does the company provide broader range of insurance coverage?
Terry Everett: No, we don’t concentrate only on truckers. We look after anyone whom we consider a blue-collar worker. We have an independent, self-employed electricians, plumbers, etc. We look after that segment of population as well.
DorogaRoad: I know that quite a bit of your trucker customers are of Eastern-European origin. Are there any special selling techniques you use when selling to Russians?
Terry Everett: No (laughs). I have a few companies that I look after, that speak exclusively Russian. Am I learning the language? Well, as fast as I can. Just like them learning English. A lot of our work, surprisingly enough, is done via e-mail, internet. This keeps everybody in-line, because everything we do is in writing. Therefore, when they have questions, they are getting a black-and-white answer, not just a verbal conversation over the phone that they may not understand.
Once again, I go back to that service and we serve clients as quickly and as efficiently as we can. This is very important. Talking about claims. I have seen claims paid within three, four, five days. Many companies will make you wait thirty, forty, fifty, sixty days. We act as third party administrators, so, in this way, we control the claims. I help clients make sure the claim forms are completed properly, so the process goes very smooth. This feature is important in our business. You can’t be in the insurance industry and neglect your client when they have claim, you have to help them throughout the process. Certainly, with the Russian community, the language problem, at times, creates concerns. So we have to be prepared to spend the time for that client, make sure that they understand how the whole process works. We recently had a claim where a gentleman was hurt in California. He received his initial cheque within five days.
DorogaRoad: Which, I understand, is very good term for insurance repayments.
Terry Everett: Yes, indeed.
DorogaRoad: There are definitely tough times for the trucking industry out there. You are always in close contact with truckers. In your opinion, what are the best-running companies do, that others, lets say, less successful, don’t.
Terry Everett: That is a very good question. Every business has its ups and downs. With the trucking industry, you can’t just say that fuel costs are destroying everything. It is not so. Ultimately, in the end, the consumer is paying for everything. Because everything we buy gets here and there by truck. A truck was involved somehow, someway in the process. Safety and complains managers, owners of the trucking companies have to continue to pay a lot of attention to service, satisfying their clients’ needs, because when the cycle comes around the clients are going to go back to the trucking company that gave them the service that they needed. This moment is extremely important.
Back to the service, that NAL offers. Our agents, we have agents virtually coast-to-coast; can help truckers and any client we have. It is a one-on-one business. Even though we say to go to out web-site, log-in the driver’s information and get covered immediately, believe it or not, those drivers, the company businesses - someone is servicing those accounts all the time. I have clients whom I see every week. That is part of the routine. Do customers like that? Yes, they do. Because they know that I am minutes away or a phone-call away. We make a point of responding as quickly as possible. We have to. The trucking industry has to do the same thing. They all have to work together to get through whatever has happened with the economy.
DorogaRoad: So, the bottom line, as I understand, is that if a trucking company still manages to provide the best service possible to their clients through these tough times, it will survive and furthermore thrive in the good times.
Terry Everett: That is right.
DorogaRoad: Can you tell any funny story from your professional experience?
Terry Everett: There are many funny stories, unfortunately, they are about our clients who had to go through pain and suffering that makes a funny story. People always laugh at other’s misfortune.
DorogaRoad: We pretty much have covered everything I meant to ask. Is there anything else you like to tell your potential and regular costumers that I have failed to ask and you like to mention?
Terry Everett: I suggest that all transportation companies take enough time to save. Thirty minutes. I can sit down with the president of a trucking company and go through the program in just thirty minutes, no obligations. They just need to give us the opportunity to talk to their safety and complaints manager, this, in turn, will give them the opportunity to compare other products to others on the market. We have lots of competition. However, we can save hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a company under administration costs, freeing up their people to give better service to their clients, etc. It sort-of goes in a circle. Take the time to let us give you our side of the picture. Henry Ford, I like quoting people, said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”. NAL, National Auto League, does what is says it is going to do. I have been with NAL almost fifteen years. Over the years, I have seen all kinds of competition and I would rather be here because it is the best product, certainly for the trucking industry. At this point, we have the best premiums, the best coverage, and we are working on it. Over the last year, we have made additions, more and more coverage to enhance that we offer what our clients want.
DorogaRoad: Anything else?
Terry Everett: Couple more things to mention. We also provide financing for used trucks and equipment through Motion Financial on very attractive terms helping owner operators and small fleets. We opened few truck stop lounges for drivers with flat screen TVs, comfortable chairs where they can relax while on the road, no charge to the driver. Information about Motion Financial, our driver lounges location and much more other useful information about our services you can find on website www.nalinsurance.com
DorogaRoad: These Rest Areas, lounges for drivers, are they just for your current customers or for any driver?
Terry Everett: Any driver. All of the information on our coverage for drivers is available at each one of those locations as well.
DorogaRoad: It’s good. It shows that you are really taking care of the drivers.
Terry Everett: The other thing that Henry Ford says is “To do more for the world then the world does for you – that is success.” We have to give back, that is all part of the service. Driver’s safety, so that they are rested and have a place to go, is good for all of us.
Terry Everett: There was a situation. A driver got hurt at home. Our coverage protects the driver on and off the job. Not just while he is driving. It is important because people get hurt off the job as well. One particular agent actually went and baby-set the client’s children when he was in the emergency room in the hospital, because the wife was unavailable. As for me, that is tremendous service.
DorogaRoad: It is. Thank you very much for your time, Terry.
Terry Everett: Thank you for the opportunity.