Commercial trucking insurance is important coverage for an owner-operator or small business providing trucking services. It is one of the few products you buy in the hopes that it’s never used. If you are an owner-operator or leasing through a motor-carrier, you’ll want to find the perfect truck insurance. The first place to start is arming yourself with knowledge. A little research and leg work in advance can save you some big headaches later on. Read on for tips for choosing the best trucking insurance.
What is Commercial Trucking Insurance?
Commercial truck insurance is the type of coverage that protects you from costly bills should any of your trucks become involved in an accident. To stay legal on the road, you require auto insurance. The trucking policies start with primary liability and build upon that foundation with various additional coverages. Required as part of a trucking license, is primary liability truck insurance — it protects people and property from damage caused by your truck. Commercial trucking insurance covers circumstances where you use your truck to transport products, animals, customers, and materials. If you are a driver and want to drive on your own authority, then you will need primary liability insurance. If you are an owner-operator of a trucking company, then you’ll expand your trucking insurance to include general liability, as well.
Consider the Type of Truck You Have
The first thing you need to consider before purchasing a commercial truck insurance is the type of truck you have. Determine if your truck qualifies as a Light-Duty, Medium-Duty, or Heavy-Duty. After doing this, it will help you look for the proper type of truck insurance. We will also be able to figure out if specialized coverage might be needed, as some of these vehicles do.
Right Type of Commercial Truck Insurance
As mentioned above, there are several basic coverage plans we must get, such as liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.
- Cargo insurance- you are protecting whatever merchandise or products you are transporting. As part of our services, Matrix recommends it if you are hauling fragile or hazardous materials.
- Medical payments- covers the expenses for drivers or passengers if they were involved in an accident.
- Uninsured motorist coverage- helps you deal with drivers who might have damaged your vehicle but does not have any insurance coverage.
“The rates vary a lot,” according to Walter Stieg, chairman of Stieg and Associates, which writes insurance policies for truckers. “But the average guy with a $100,000 tractor and a $50,000 trailer long-haul could easily be paying $10,000 to $12,000 for the premium.” Insurance companies use many rating factors to calculate your rate, and each can have a big influence on your premium.
Factors that affect insurance rates include:
- The type of cargo you carry- Some cargo is just riskier to transport than others. For example, an accident involving a truck transporting heavy farm equipment will likely cause more injury or damage than a truck carrying fresh produce.
- Your number of years of experience
- The physical locations you drive (some cities and states have higher rates than others). – Truckers with a large operating radius typically are exposed to higher risks due to longer drive times between stops.
- Your driving record and any violations, such as- traffic tickets or driving longer hours than allowed. A minor speeding ticket on a trucker’s driving record could cause a drastic increase to their insurance cost.Keeping your driving record free of accidents and violations could save you hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of dollars on a truck policy.
- Vehicle type- A semi-truck will most likely require more expensive insurance cost than a lighter pickup truck carrying the same type of product. That’s because of its potential to cause more damage in an accident.
Choose the Best Insurance Company
First and really important step is to not pick any commercial truck insurance randomly. As a result of this, you may end up picking a company that does not offer the kind of insurance coverage that you are looking for. Make sure that the commercial truck insurance company has a solid reputation. Read the reviews of different companies. Online platforms and social media are great places to see what their customers really think about the service they provide. Therefore, once you pick a commercial truck insurance company that you feel like is your best option, check their website. This way you’ll understand how they are operating and get to know the kind of insurance coverage that they are offering. Click on the link for insurance companies reviews https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_vehicle for more information.
Quick tip: If you have a friend or business partner that has insured their commercials trucks, ask them for recommendations on an insurance company.
Choosing The Right Policy
The best way to do it is to compare the monthly premiums and what is and is not included. Think about whether you prefer to have a bigger deductible so that you can pay a smaller premium, or the other way around. Whatever policy you choose, review your insurance each year to check whether it still fits your needs. You might need to increase your level of coverage or add another area of coverage. An insurance expert will take the time to explain coverage options and walk you through types and choices. Primary is required, general liability might be required or suggested, and any other endorsements will strengthen your protection.
At the end of the day, whether you decide to purchase your own rig, or drive for an established fleet, you will need commercial insurance. Choose wisely!