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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in New Bern, NC

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in New Bern, NC You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance New Bern, NC

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance New Bern, NC

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in New Bern, NC

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in New Bern, NC

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance New Bern, NC

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
phone Call Now
 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers New Bern, NC

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

phone Call Now
 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote New Bern, NC

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance New Bern, NC phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance New Bern, NC phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance New Bern, NC phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in New Bern, NC that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance New Bern, NC

Latest News in New Bern, NC

“Everything I did was for the students”: Former New Bern High School Principal addresses decision to change grades of ineligible student-athletes

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) -We’re hearing more from a former high school principal here in the east about his part in the grade changing of ineligible student-athletes last school year.It’s been a difficult past few months for former New Bern High School Principal Jerry Simmons.“What hurt more than people talking about me, was when you put down some of the hardest working people on our campus,” Simmons said.Simmons’ name has been at the forefront of an investigation surrounding the eligibility of...

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) -We’re hearing more from a former high school principal here in the east about his part in the grade changing of ineligible student-athletes last school year.

It’s been a difficult past few months for former New Bern High School Principal Jerry Simmons.

“What hurt more than people talking about me, was when you put down some of the hardest working people on our campus,” Simmons said.

Simmons’ name has been at the forefront of an investigation surrounding the eligibility of players on the 2022 state championship football team.

“Student-athletes oftentimes get a bad reputation, but this was never about a student who was playing a sport,” Simmons said. “It was about students who were in need and students learning at a different rate.”

Back in May, Craven County Schools announced that Simmons and school counselor Heidi Ricks were both suspended with pay.

“They just said we’ll need your keys, and you are not to have any contact with any students or staff at New Bern High School until we have concluded our investigation,” Simmons said.

Simmons says the school system told him they were looking into incidents during his tenure.

Recently Simmons says he was sent a letter by the school system, making him aware of evidence that they say revealed his direction to the school data manager to change the grades of multiple students.

“If they were really after the truth, we would’ve had that conversation months ago or when they first got a complaint,” Simmons said.

Many believe most of the students were on last year’s state championship football team. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) recently vacated all of the games from that season due to ineligible players dressing out to play, including the championship.

“I’m not going to say they didn’t investigate, I’m going to say I would think they’d want to talk to me,” Simmons said.

This year’s 2023 Bears team also had to forfeit five wins for some of those same ineligible players playing.

Some have questioned Simmons’ moral compass after everything, but he stands firm in his decisions despite resigning.

“I haven’t been hiding, I enjoyed MumFest this weekend,” Simmons said. “This was in no way to try to win over people who seem eager to believe bad.”

WITN reached out to Craven County Schools Public Relations Director Jennifer Wagner for a response to Simmons’ comments. She released a statement that said:

“We won’t be responding to anything Mr. Simmons has shared or his response”

Jennifer Wagner, Craven County Schools Public Relations Director

Simmons is now a middle school math and science teacher at Epiphany School of Global Studies in New Bern.

Copyright 2023 WITN. All rights reserved.

NCHSAA brings hammer down on New Bern football team; 2022 state title vacated

2NEW BERN, Craven County — The North Carolina High Schools Athletics Association has been looking into improprieties regarding the 2022 New Bern High School team and their season, including academic ineligibility, and has come to the decision to vacate the school's 2022 4A state championship.All wins that academically ineligible players participated in must be vacated, including the state championship game.Additionally, the team will be on probation for the 2023 season.According to an official, their underst...

2

NEW BERN, Craven County — The North Carolina High Schools Athletics Association has been looking into improprieties regarding the 2022 New Bern High School team and their season, including academic ineligibility, and has come to the decision to vacate the school's 2022 4A state championship.

All wins that academically ineligible players participated in must be vacated, including the state championship game.

Additionally, the team will be on probation for the 2023 season.

According to an official, their understanding on the probation is that the team will not have to forfeit their wins this season and that team is just "on watch." The official noted that nothing has been shared with the team indicating that they cannot participate in the 2023 playoffs. That is all subject to change, per the NCSHAA.

The loss of their championship comes after an offseason full of turmoil for the Bears.

Former head coach Torrey Nowell announced his resignation in the latter half of June, leaving for another head coaching opportunity. Terrance Saxby eventually took over for the Bears and is currently 6-1 for the season, but the team is now dealing with an issue involving suspended players.

Former principal Jerry Simmons was suspended, along with guidance counselor Heidi Ricks, on May 30. Simmons, who had plans to retire prior to the suspension, retired on July 1. Dr. Darryl Thomas Jr. took over as principal.

The Bears defeated the Grimsley Whirlies in the 4A State Championship game on Dec. 9, 2022, by a score of 40-28. At the time, it was New Bern's fourth state championship since 2007 (2007, 2012, 2014).

Craven County Schools released the following:

"Craven County Schools was informed by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) on October 2, 2023, that because academically ineligible student-athletes were permitted to participate on the football team during the fall 2022 season, the New Bern High School 2022 Football Program must forfeit all contests, including the state championship, in which the ineligible student-athletes dressed to participate. Additionally, the New Bern High School Football Program is placed on probation for the 2023 season.

We are deeply saddened by this news and know that members of our community are as well. We also recognize that this will have ramifications for many years to come. It is extremely important for our families and community to be aware that going forward we have put processes in place to monitor and confirm eligibility for our student-athletes so something of this magnitude never happens again. Craven County Schools remains committed to supporting our students, former students, and community. We ask for your patience and understanding during this challenging time and acknowledge that there may be many questions that cannot be answered due to laws regarding personnel and student confidentiality."

READ THE COMMENTS (2)

Former New Bern High School Principal Jerry Simmons released the following comment to WCTI NewsChannel 12, "I'm extremely disappointed that our NCHSAA chose to accept what was provided to them by Craven County Schools and not conduct their own inquiry." Mr. Simmons said that he can't comment any further at this time as he explores if there is anything else that can be done in this case.

No bets in North Carolina on or before Super Bowl

The North Carolina Lottery Commission will begin accepting sports betting license applications this week, but there will be no bets on or before Super Bowl LVIII, officials said Wednesday.“We know that the betting public is very interested in knowing the date that the first bets can be made in North Carolina and there are a number of factors in determining what that date will be,” commission Chairman Ripley Rand said in a statement.“We see questions about whether sports betting will be up and running in time f...

The North Carolina Lottery Commission will begin accepting sports betting license applications this week, but there will be no bets on or before Super Bowl LVIII, officials said Wednesday.

“We know that the betting public is very interested in knowing the date that the first bets can be made in North Carolina and there are a number of factors in determining what that date will be,” commission Chairman Ripley Rand said in a statement.

“We see questions about whether sports betting will be up and running in time for the Super Bowl,” he said. “It’s clear, however, with all the work remaining to be done and the timetable set out in state law that unfortunately won’t be the case.”

Rand suggested the commission will have a better idea of when sports betting will go live “early in the new year.”

Factors that will impact the timing include the number of operator applications received, the date they’re completed, when supporting information is submitted, the completion of the rulemaking process, and the time it takes for background and internal control checks, and certifications from an independent testing lab.

“Once we have all of that information, we’ll be able to set a date,” Rand said. “So applicants have a big role to play in determining the commission’s review of the information.”

The commission on Wednesday approved a 30-page application and set a deadline for submissions of Dec. 27. Once submitted, the commission will have 60 days to review the applications, and operators will have 10 days to correct any issues, Cari Boyce, chairwoman of the commission’s sports betting committee, said in a video statement.

“Vetting an application will be a detailed process,” she said. “We expect application submissions from operators could be as many as 1,000 pages.”

Boyce noted that every applicant will need a written designation agreement with a sports team, league or venue, a change to the initial sports betting law that came in the state budget. North Carolina is home to the NFL Carolina Panthers, NHL Carolina Hurricanes, NBA Charlotte Hornets, MLS Charlotte FC and NWSL’s North Carolina Courage, as well as multiple NASCAR tracks and golf pro tour stops. Several sportsbooks have already signaled intentions to pursue licenses, including BetMGM, DraftKings, Tipico Sportsbook, ESPN BET, and FanDuel.

Sports betting in North Carolina has been limited to casinos on tribal lands, with active retail sportsbooks at Catawba Two Kings Casino, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel.

Since sports betting was approved by lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper in June, the commission has hired an executive director, licensing and legal staff, and a global gaming firm to guide testing and certifications. In addition to approving the operator application on Wednesday, the commission also launched a new website, NCgaming.gov, to provide public updates on the progress toward launch.

The commission approved a first round of rules in mid-November, with public comment now underway for a second round of rules. The commission’s sports betting committee is slated to meet next on Dec. 6.

Lawmakers gave the commission until June 14 to go live, though the authorizing legislation allows for a launch any time after Jan. 8.

A legislative fiscal analysis pegs revenues from the state’s 18% betting tax at $64.6 million in fiscal year 2024-25, while other estimates have ranged from $47 million after three years to $126 million in the first year.

New Bern Football (2022) Schedule

Where does the Big Carolina Conference stand now after New Bern forfeits first five games of season

One of the burning questions from the news of New Bern's football program forfeiting all 16 games from its 2022 undefeated state championship season was answered Wednesday.On Sept. 21, it was previously reported that five New Bern football players were ruled ineligible for failure to meet the Craven County Schools' attendance policy. On Wednesday, CCS sent a release saying four players were ruled ineligible. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association put further punishment on the program, informing the Bears they must forfeit...

One of the burning questions from the news of New Bern's football program forfeiting all 16 games from its 2022 undefeated state championship season was answered Wednesday.

On Sept. 21, it was previously reported that five New Bern football players were ruled ineligible for failure to meet the Craven County Schools' attendance policy. On Wednesday, CCS sent a release saying four players were ruled ineligible. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association put further punishment on the program, informing the Bears they must forfeit the first five games of the 2023 season.

The games being forfeited are Willow Springs, Northern Guildford, West Craven, Knightdale, and Havelock.

CCS stated one New Bern girls' tennis player on the 2023 team was found to be ineligible. The team must forfeit all points earned by the ineligible student-athlete who dressed and participated. Match results must be adjusted as necessary.

CCS stated that the NCHSAA found West Craven High School permitted a student who had failed to meet the county attendance policy and was ineligible to participate on the men’s soccer team during the fall 2023 season. The 2023 men’s soccer program must forfeit all contests in which the ineligible student-athlete dressed to participate. The student-athlete participated in five soccer matches with a team record of 2-3, so while the team must forfeit all matches, only two were wins.

Formerly 7-1 overall and 3-1 in Big Carolina Conference play, the Bears' football record moves to 2-6 overall and 2-2 in conference. Here's how the news impacts the rest of the conference going forward and the Bears' projected playoff outlook.

Before Wednesday's news, New Bern was preparing for a conference showdown with a potential conference championship on the line.

A win against J.H. Rose would keep the Bears at the top of the conference with one game remaining, while a loss would create a four-way tie between New Bern, Rose, Jacksonville, and Havelock before the rest of the games have been played out.

New Bern has a bye-week the last week of the regular season.

1. Havelock (7-0, 3-0)

2. J.H. Rose (4-4, 3-1)

3. Jacksonville (5-1, 2-1)

4 New Bern (2-6, 2-2)

5. D.H. Conley (2-5, 1-2)

6. South Central (3-4, 1-2)

7. Northside-Jacksonville (1-7, 0-4)

Havelock jumps to the top of the conference with a 7-0 overall record and 3-0 in the conference. After beating previously undefeated Jacksonville last Friday night, 28-17, the Rams are the only unbeaten team in the conference.

Havelock's next three games are Friday at South Central (3-4, 1-2), Oct. 20 at Northside-Jacksonville (1-7, 0-4), and Oct. 27 at home against J.H. Rose (4-4, 3-1). If the Rams win their last three games, they will win the Big Carolina Conference. Playing two of the bottom teams in the conference, the Rams are big favorites in those games, while Rose is always a tough test for the Rams.

This week's New Bern/Rose game is one to watch. If the Bears can beat Rose, it would almost wrap up Havelock's conference championship, even if the Rams lose to the Rampants. If Rose beats New Bern, Havelock would have to beat Rose to win the conference outright.

A Rose win against New Bern and Havelock would create a three-way tie between Jacksonville, Rose, and Havelock, all would finish the season with one conference loss. Jacksonville beat Rose, Havelock beat Jacksonville, and Rose beat Havelock (hypothetically). In the event of a tie, the NCHSAA settles the standings through head-to-head results between the tied teams, overall winning percentage, opponents' winning percentage, opponents' opponents winning percentage, highest-rated win (according to the final Ratings Percentage Index standings), next-highest rated win (exhaust all possibilities), or draw.

The 3A/4A Big Carolina Conference is a split conference between two teams in the state's 4A division and five teams from the 3A division.

While one conference champion is listed at the end of the regular season, the NCHSAA seeds an automatic qualifier from the conference's top 3A and 4A finisher.

All the Bears have to do is beat the only other 4A team in the conference, D.H. Conley, to win the 4A portion of the conference. The Bears are projected to win their final two games, Friday at Rose and Oct. 20 at Conley.

If the Bears can, they will finish 4-6 overall and 4-2 in conference.

NCHSAA RPI ratings will determine the remainder of the field. Those ratings will also determine the seeding of automatic qualifiers.

The Bears would most likely be ranked as one of the lowest automatic qualifiers, depending on how New Bern finishes the season. However, automatically qualifying for the playoffs would guarantee New Bern a home playoff game.

No matter what, the NCHSAA seeds two teams from the same conference if that conference has six or more teams. The conference champion in 4A, the 2nd place 4A team, or conference tournament champion. This means New Bern and DH Conley will make the playoffs, depending on where they will be seeded.

Havelock is ranked #1 in the 3A East RPI rankings, and if they win out, will most likely claim a #1 overall seed in the East for the playoffs.

The same rules apply for the 3A portion of the conference regarding who will make the playoffs. The 3A conference champion and the 2nd place finisher. Because the conference is one of the more difficult ones to play in, and with RPI rankings determining the rest of the field, a third 3A team is normally added from the conference.

In 2022, for example, Havelock was seeded automatically #4 overall, J.H. Rose was seeded #14, and Jacksonville was seeded at #20.

The forfeits by New Bern come with a change in which school is now deemed champions of Craven County. On Sept. 5, New Bern defeated West Craven 43-14, while Havelock defeated West Craven 20-13 the following week. The New Bern/Havelock matchup, where the Bears defeated Havelock 15-14, is now reversed as the Rams hold the crown for Craven County Champions.

The title comes with bragging rights, and with New Bern owning the rights since 2018-19, it's fitting to note the change as all three schools highly compete with each other yearly.

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