FMCSA Mandate 12/18/2017

COUNTRYWIDE MANDATE
EFFECTIVE DEC. 18, 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration (FMCSA)
will require many commercial
truckers to use an ELD effective
Dec. 18. Generally, truckers who
are currently required to keep
paper logs will need an ELD. This
would include most truckers
who operate across state lines.
Trucks that are older than model
year 2000 are exempt. For more
details on who is affected, visit
the FMCSA website.

WHAT THIS MEANS
FOR YOU
Overdrive reported that many
truckers are apprehensive
about switching to an ELD due
to additional costs and feeling
an invasion of privacy. There’s
widespread concern that a
significant number of drivers
may choose to get out of the
business, leading to a shortage
of tenured truck drivers and
changes in the market.

ALL ELDS ARE
NOT THE SAME
ELDs can be permanently
attached to a truck (cab device)
or can be a hand-held device
(smartphone). Both types make
tracking hours-of-service easier
and more accurate than paper
logs, and also provide vehicle
inspection reports and gauges
featuring key engine stats. All
ELDs must be certified with
the FMCSA to be compliant.
For additional information on
compliant ELDs, visit the
FMCSA website.

GET AN ELD PRIOR
TO THE MANDATE
We recommend truckers
get an ELD well in advance
of the deadline. Drivers
who switch early will
have time to adapt to the
learning curve and become
well-versed on how to use
it correctly when the
mandate takes effect.

Call Me at (317) 420-2867

For a limited time, I may be able to get qualified individuals free use of an ELD through my association with Progressive Insurance and their “SMARTHAUL” program. Or visit us on line at Scott Lynch Agency

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7 monthly bills affected by your credit rating

Brian Acton, Credit.com Published 4:02 p.m. ET June 1, 2017 | Updated 4:02 p.m. ET June 1, 2017

You probably know your monthly bills can impact your credit, as late payments or accounts in collections can land on your credit report and bring down your credit score. But are you aware your credit score can affect the payment amount on a number of your monthly bills?

Here are seven monthly bills with payments your credit score can determine.

1. Rent payments

When you apply for a lease, your landlord might request a background check that includes your credit report. They can’t run a background check without your permission, although refusing may prevent you from moving forward with the lease.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the landlord can take adverse action if they find red flags in your credit report. This action could include denying your rental application or raising your rent higher than they would charge another applicant. The good news is they are legally required to give you written notice if they take adverse action, provide you the report they used (if you request it within 60 days) and give you the chance to dispute the information.

2. Credit cards

Consumers with good credit tend to qualify for much lower credit card interest rates than those with poor credit. Interest is applied to your credit card balance each month unless you pay it off in full within the monthly grace period. (You can go here to learn more about how credit card interest is calculated.) If you tend to carry a balance month to month, your poor credit could be costing you extra in interest.

3. Mortgages

Your mortgage payment is also directly affected by your credit. Mortgage lenders consider you a riskier borrower if you have a lower credit score. To hedge against that risk, they will charge you a higher interest rate.

4. Auto loans

Credit scores impact the interest rate lenders offer when you apply for an auto loan. While interest rates vary between lenders, having excellent credit generally results in lower interest and a lower monthly payment. Those 0% financing offers you see on car commercials usually require excellent credit.

Your credit score doesn’t generally affect federal loan payments, but if you plan on financing your education through private loans, lenders can use your credit score to determine your interest rate and fees. The worse your credit, the more interest you’ll pay on the loan.

6. Auto insurance

According to The Zebra’s State of Auto Insurance Report, there’s a correlation between credit and car insurance rates. On a national level, drivers with poor credit can pay more than twice as much as those with excellent credit for insurance. Some states have banned insurance providers from using credit scores to determine rates, but it’s a common practice in the states that allow it.

7. Homeowners insurance

Insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores to determine what you’ll pay for homeowners insurance. These scores are industry-specific and aren’t exactly the same as your credit score, but they use the information in your credit report to determine your score. The same negative marks that bring down your credit score can impact your insurance score, and affect your payment.

Given your credit’s affect on nearly every bill in your mailbox (among other things, of course), it’s important to regularly monitor your credit for errors (you can go here to learn how to dispute those), identity theft or legitimate negative items that are affecting your score. You can pull your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and view your free credit report snapshot every month on Credit.com. You can generally improve your bad credit by paying down high credit card balances, shoring up accounts in delinquency and limiting new credit inquiries while your credit score rebounds.

More from Credit.com

This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

Brian Acton is a freelance writer and contributor at Credit.com. Several years ago, as he worked to pay down debt and purchase a home, Brian became interested in personal finance and credit. He has been covering these topics ever since. Brian has a BA in History from Salisbury University and an MBA from UMUC. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two dogs. More by Brian Acton

 Original Article

Keep kids safe with these 5 tips to prevent heatstroke in cars

JUL 31, 2017 | BY ROSALIE L. DONLONDENNY JACOB

Summer is a favorite time of the year for many with warm, sunny days. But it’s important to remember extremely hot summer temperatures can be dangerous and even deadly.

During periods of elevated temperature, your body must work more intensely to maintain its internal temperature of 98.6 degrees, leading to the threat of dehydration, among other things. Beyond the risks to people, extreme heat increases a number of exposures. For example, vehicles can break down if there aren’t enough fluids to keep the car cool and functional as it reacts to the increased heat.

Of the numerous risks that can occur with increased heat, a heatstroke is often overlooked. Children, especially those under a year old, are at risk because their body’s temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s, and they’re often too young to alert others for help.

In the span of 10 minutes, a car can heat up by 20 degrees — enough to kill a child left alone in a vehicle. On July 31, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will tweet every 15 minutes for 24 hours to raise awareness about the dangers of heatstroke. You can follow the conversation through NHTSA’s Twitter page and participate using the hashtag #HeatstrokeKills.

The risks of vehicular heatstroke

Vehicular heatstroke happens when a child is left or trapped inside a car or truck. As NHTSA explains, the temperature inside a vehicle can quickly rise high enough to kill a child—even when it doesn’t feel that hot outside. Understanding how and why these tragedies happen is the key to protecting our children. In 54% of cases, the child was forgotten by the caregiver. In 28% of cases, children got into the vehicle on their own.

High body temperatures can cause permanent injury or even death. It begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees and the thermoregulatory system is overwhelmed. A core temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal.

Regardless of the temperature, heatstrokes pose a risk at any given time; they can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees. Heatstroke fatalities have occurred even in vehicles parked in shaded areas and when the air temperature was 80 degrees Fahrenheit or less — rolling down a window does little keep a vehicle cool.

The warning signs of a heatstroke can vary, but may include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin; no sweating; a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse; a throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; being grouchy or acting strangely.

Follow these five tips from NHTSA to keep children safe from vehicular heatstroke:

Look before you lock

Get into the routine of always checking the back seats of your vehicle before you lock it and walk away. It sounds unthinkable that you’d forget your child in the back seat, but if the child is asleep and you’re distracted or in a rush to get somewhere, it does happen.

Have a gentle reminder

Keep a stuffed animal or another memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place your phone, briefcase or purse in the back seat when traveling with your child.

Do a routine check

If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely. Set a reminder on your phone to call and check in.

Keep track of your car keys

Keep your vehicle locked and keep your keys out of reach; nearly 3 in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle.

If you have a newer model car that has a keyless entry, check with the vehicle’s manufacturer on ways to keep children from getting into the car unsupervised.

Act to save a life

You should act if you see a child alone in a vehicle. Call law enforcement immediately, and free the child from the vehicle to protect that child’s life. Don’t be afraid to break a window if necessary.

Original Article

Seriously Good Car Insurance

Seriously Good Car Insurance

For Seriously Good Car Insurance visit: Scott Lynch Agency or call (317) 420-2867

Recorded Webinars: Laws That Business Owner Should Know

by Carolyn Sennett on June 2, 2016

Employee terminations and payroll record keeping are just two examples of routine business matters that if not handled properly could quickly spiral into a serious problem for business owners.

Employee termination checklist

PrefireChecklist

The law presumes that employees are employed at will. That means an at-will employee may be fired at any time, for any reason (except for a few illegal reasons). But even when termination decisions are made with good cause, there are hundreds of potential grievances that could be filed by former employees. The defensibility of those claims is often dependent on the actions that employers take before the decision to terminate an employee is made or shared.

Watch a 20-minute webinar that guides employers in how to better manage the process before decisions are made so they can take steps now to mitigate those risks.

Overview of federal wage and hour laws

PrefireChecklist

Federal wage and hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) continue to rise nationwide. Simple errors in payroll or recorded hours worked, while seemingly insignificant on a per employee basis, can lead to significant exposure under the FLSA due to the collective action nature of these litigations.

Watch a 20-minute webinar that guides employers in avoiding common errors and mitigating risks.

The videos were provided under an arrangement with The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. Contact a local Erie Insurance agent to learn more about affordable ways to protect your business.