Commercial truck insurance is essential if you’re an owner of a business that provides trucking services. The insurance options you can choose from differ according to the type of goods you transport, the type of drivers you hire, and their experience driving commercial vehicles.
Your insurance providers can evaluate the risks associated with your business and recommend a couple of types of coverage that can protect your company and drivers. But you can also research to understand what each type of insurance provides and how they would work if you purchased them.
What is commercial trucking insurance?
Commercial truck insurance is a type of coverage that protects your business from pricey bills in case one of your vehicles gets involved in an accident. The authorities require all vehicles driving on the road to have insurance, but commercial insurance is created for particular instances when transporting goods, animals, materials, or other products.
Types of commercial trucking insurance you need for your trucks
Primary auto liability – the federal regulations require all vehicles to have auto insurance to drive on roads legally. All your trucks must carry commercial auto insurance that provides protection when a third-party experiences injuries or damages due to an accident, one of your drivers cause.
General liability – the authorities also ask vehicle owners to get general liability coverage because it protects the drivers if they cause bodily or property damage in a crash. It covers their actions when they operate the trucks on other people’s premises, like loading docks and load delivery errors.
Bobtail insurance – you can add this coverage to your primary liability to provide coverage for the trucks when they’re not used for commercial purposes. It covers your company from financial loss when one of the drivers gets involved in an accident without a load or trailer on someone else’s trucking authority. You can find some cheap bobtail insurance policies on the market, so you shouldn’t neglect to get one.
Physical damage – this policy covers commercial truck or trailer repairs in case they are the target of natural disaster, theft, collision, or vandalism. In case the vehicles become damaged beyond repair, you can use it to replace it.
Medical payment – covers all medical bills the driver or passenger experiences when riding or driving a truck. You’ll find it helpful in case your drivers get injured in an accident because you won’t have to pay for their treatment.
Trailer interchange – this policy provides coverage for the trailers that are under a trailer interchange agreement. This coverage protects the trailer in case of vandalism, theft, fire, or collision. It works similar to a physical damage policy, but this one regards non-owned trailers.
Rental reimbursement – rental reimbursement is exactly what you’d expect; you receive money for renting replacement vehicles while your trucks are repaired. It’s quite useful for a truck company because you don’t have to interrupt operations when one of your trucks can no longer be used.
When you get the right type of coverage, you have relief because you know your business is protected.
Tips to Choose the Perfect Commercial Insurance
Research can help you make the right choice from the beginning. Here are some recommendations you should follow to ensure that you get the appropriate policy for your needs.
Know how much insurance you’re legally obliged to get
We previously stated that the state asks you to get primary auto and general liabilities, but you need to determine how much of each you need in order to operate. Again, your insurance broker can provide you with this piece of information. Depending on the specific of your business, you may even need insurance for the commercial spaces where you store the good to protect against damage to the property or goods that can occur on-site.
Identify the risks you need protection against
The trucking industry has its unique risks and challenges, and you can easily identify them if you research and consult with specialists. You need protection against road accidents, natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and other similar risks. The industry you operate in isn’t the only factor you should consider; you also need to think about your location’s challenges. General liability doesn’t include coverage for natural disasters, so you should consider getting it if you operate in an area prone to hurricanes or other similar natural threats. After you assess the risks, you can decide if auto and general liabilities are enough, or you need to add extra coverage like bobtail and trailer interchange.
Work with an agent who knows your industry
Commercial insurance can be challenging if you’re new to this. Even after you research, you’ll still have questions about the services that best fit your needs. A knowledgeable insurance broker can provide you with the answers you’re looking for and help you find the best plan and price for your trucking needs.
It’s wise to collaborate with an agent that works for a reliable insurance provider. When you collaborate with the same company in the long run, you can benefit from special prices and benefits. Interview a few companies before you decide on the one you want o hire. Ask about their experience with truck companies, and pick the ones specialized in your niche.
It’s better to be over-insured than to lack essential coverage
Companies usually look for ways to cut expenses, but your insurance plan isn’t the place where to save money. Not enough insurance can have a negative impact on your business because you can end up paying hundreds of dollars from your pocket. Don’t underestimate the financial burden of a lawsuit, insurance claim, or property damage. Work with a broker experienced in estimating how much coverage you need. You may experience a bit of sticker shock when you see the total prove of the policies you need, but don’t allow anxiety to dictate your financial decisions. Be rational when you buy insurance because it should protect you in all instances.
Hopefully, you won’t need to use the insurance coverage. But part of being a responsible business manager is to plan ahead and protect your company from all risks.