The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has partnered with Universal Underwriters Insurance Co. to offer insurance coverage for TIA members.
With the program, qualifying TIA members can receive coverage for employee benefits, property and casualty, pollution liability, business life insurance and workers' compensation, the Bowie-based trade association said.
TIA said it had negotiated with six major carriers to develop the program before selecting Universal.
``All of the carriers we met with offered competitive coverage, but most of them only wrote policies in select states,'' said Roy Littlefield, TIA's executive vice president. ``It was very important for TIA to endorse a program that serves qualifying TIA members nationwide, so we decided to go with Universal.''
But the availability of each type of coverage cannot be guaranteed in every state, Mr. Littlefield said, because of the current legal environment and market conditions.
Becky MacDicken, government affairs director for TIA, said the industry is hoping to get the Senate to vote on legislation that would remove those state-by-state barriers for association-sponsored health insurance.
The House already approved the measure. She told Tire Business she's not aware of any efforts down the road to lobby for legislation to also cover business insurance across state lines.
Ms. MacDicken said Association Health Plans would allow small business owners to band together across state lines through their association to buy health insurance.
She said various associations have started a grassroots campaign after receiving little initial support from Senate leaders, ``which is not a good sign,'' she said.
With TIA's business insurance program, Universal Underwriters will be the only recommended business insurance carrier for TIA, though retreaders still will remain with Scottsdale Insurance Co. for product liability insurance.
Universal will supply TIA with loss prevention and advertising materials for members, and the insurance company also will participate in TIA conventions and help promote the group's training and certification programs.
``Universal insures over 1,200 tire dealers, so they understand the needs of our industry,'' said Tom Raben, president of TIA.