For the first time since the 1980s, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) is offering its members a comprehensive lineup of insurance programs, including a just announced health insurance option.
TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield Jr. and newly named association President Mike Berra Jr. revealed the new health insurance plan as well as a new workers' compensation program at the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.
The new options give TIA four insurance programs: health insurance, garage liability, workers' compensation and product liability for retreaders.
Messers. Berra and Littlefield also introduced a website for members involved in commercial truck tire and wheel service and a newly revised version of the association's Certified Automotive Tire Service Training Program.
For its health insurance program, TIA is working with First National Administrators in conjunction with Trade Insurance Brokerage to offer TIA members access to HM Care Advantage, which Mr. Littlefield described as a flexible selection of limited-benefit medical plans. HM is a wholly owned subsidiary of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
With monthly individual premiums as low as $150 (when employer-paid), these indemnity plans are designed to meet basic healthcare needs by providing fixed-payment amounts for unlimited physician office visits, insured prescription drugs, in-patient hospitalization, surgery, emergency care and diagnostic testing, TIA said. The plan offers guaranteed coverage with no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, Mr. Littlefield said, and is intended to be compliant with federal regulations.
TIA members have the option of mixing and matching benefit programs all the way up to major medical, he added.
Mr. Littlefield said in a telephone interview the reaction to the healthcare option so far has been really positive. We've been getting a lot of phone calls, he said.
He added that one of the goals in introducing the program was to provide a meaningful member benefit as well as for the association to be out in front of the new national healthcare mandate.
For the new workers' compensation benefit, TIA is partnering with Federated Mutual Insurance Co. to offer members access to affordable and comprehensive workers' compensation insurance. Federated also is making available to TIA members its Workers' Compensation Self-Insurance Retention program, which TIA said is an ideal tool for businesses that have effective risk management programs in place to help prevent and reduce losses.
In launching www.certifiedtireservice.com, the association's new commercial tire website, TIA is addressing a long-time membership need, according to Kevin Rohlwing, senior vice president of training.
The site will feature complete contact information of TIA members in good standing who provide commercial truck tire and wheel service. TIA members with Commercial Tire Service (CTS) technicians linked to a member location will be listed in red and will have a logo to represent their participation in the CTS Certification Program.
All TIA members have the opportunity to customize their listing and provide additional information for those in need of service. Locations can be searched by city, state or zip code, and the results include a map to show the exact address.
Commercial members have been asking us to provide this website for years, and we're confident that they will find it has been well worth the wait, Mr. Rohlwing said.
The revised Certified Automotive Tire Service (ATS) program is divided into 15 training modules, ranging from torque and clamping force to Tire Pressure Monitoring Service (TPMS) relearn and diagnostic procedures, Mr. Berra said.
It also includes various resources from the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the Automotive Lift Institute and the Tire & Rim Association, as well as a copy of the 2010 edition of the TIA TPMS Relearn Chart in 8.5- by 11-inch format.
This trailer will show the industry that TIA is committed to stay on the leading edge of training development, Mr. Littlefield said. A video trailer synopsis of the revised program is available on TIA's website, www.tireindustry.org.
In addition, TIA has won two Telly Awards for the video from the association's newly updated CTS program. The Telly Awards were founded in 1978 to honor excellence in local, regional and cable TV commercials, non-broadcast video and TV programs.
The Telly Award honors the best local, regional and cable television commercials and programs, in addition to video/film productions and work created for the Web, according to its website, and is one of the most sought-after awards by industry leaders, from large international firms to local production companies and ad agencies. The award comprises more than 200 categories.
TIA was recognized in the categories of How-To/Instructional and Automotive/Vehicle. This Telly Award is the third for the association, which won one last year for the use of animation in its Earthmover Tire Service Program.