Before you do anything, get some quotes on commercial auto insurance. Be sure the agent knows it is for a pilot car. Not all commercial insurance will cover you as a pilot car. The most common amount of overage you will need is a $1 million commercial auto coverage and is the minimum you will need to run all lower 48 states. Some trucking companies and brokers will also require you to have General Liability coverage as well. The Professional Liability coverage will cover you on almost all duties that you will perform as a pilot car. You will need to choose what you want and what you can afford.
I currently have my commercial insurance through Noble Insurance Agency and my general and professional insurance through Charles James Cayias Insurance, Inc.. The following information is from their website.
COMMERCIAL AUTOMOBILE: As personal auto insurance policies exclude business operations, commercial issurance is essential. You will want $1 million in bodily injury and property damage coverage along with medical payments, personal injury protection (in those states that require it) and uninsured motorists, to protect you, your passengers and members of the public in case of an over-the-road accident. Comprehensive and collision coverage is also offered to protect your vehicle.
GENERAL LIABILITY: Will protect you against injury to members of the public at your premises, and damage to the property of others that does not involve an automobile. You can get limits of $1 million each occurrence and $2 million aggregate for losses occurring during the policy term.
PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY: Will provide you with protection for those activities normally excluded under a general libility policy because they are considered to be a professional exposure. $1 million in coverage for flagging, height pole, surveys and shunting services, subject to qualifications. No coverage is offered for rigging or tillerman servicers
Which state certification is the best?
This depends on where are you located and what areas you plan to run? Are you planning on working regionally or nation-wide? Most state P/EVO certifications involve some form of reciprocity between other states that require a similar program. Use the table above to see which certification is the best for you.
If you do not have a CDL, and will be escorting in Florida, they require completion of a defensive driving course. Florida Pilot/Escort Drivers must take the DDC 10th edition, NOT the Florida State course. When the course is completed, be sure to request the mailed certificate. The weigh stations can shut you and your load down if you do not have the proper certificate. The load could be delayed while they find someone to replace you.
You must have the sticker on your windshield when escorting in the state of Georgia. The cost is $2 per car/truck and are valid for one year from date of purchase.
This permit is in paper form and must be obtained before entering the state. All permits cost $2 and expire on June 30 of each year.
This is a paper permit and looks just like the truck permits for running across the state. It costs $10.00 per out of state vehicle and no fee for in state. It is good from January 1st through December 31st of each year. It dose not matter what time of year you get it, it WILL expire December 31st of that year. You will need to create an account for the new LaGeaux system and order your permit through it. They are also now requiring $500,000 general liability insurance to obtain a LA pilot car permit.
Beginning in 2020, the state of Kansas now requires pilot car companies to register their vehicles and drivers each year. Make sure you have your vehicle registration, driver's DL and certifications when you get ready to get this done. You will need to go to the K-TRIPS website, create an account and then go in and register all vehicles and drivers. KS also requires one pilot car on each trip to keep fill out the Kansas Escort Trip Report and keep it for 3 years. YYou will also need to read throgh the Kansas Escort Vehicle Regulations to make sure you have all required equipment.
There has been a lot going around about Texas requiring pilot cars to take a flagging course. If you have an escort flagger certification or a Pilot/Escort Vehicle certification that is accepted by another state that requires certification, then that certification is acceptable in Texas. You can read it for yourself by clicking the link below.