Are you a trucker? Or do you operate a small or medium-sized trucking/logistics business? Well, if you are, and your truck (or trucks) are still not insured, perhaps it’s high time you get them insured, because truck-related accidents have been on a rise. Like in 2020 alone, medium and large trucks were involved in fatal accidents, which marked a 33% increase since 2011. And, if you’re involved in an accident which results in an injury, or worse a fatality, then you could be held liable. So, here are a couple of timely, expert-approved hints on how to find the best truck insurance.
What Coverage Do You Require?
The sad reality these days is that many trucking companies often don’t or won’t provide insurance until their drivers have two or more years of experience. This means that drivers will likely need to find and pay for truck insurance on their own. So, how do you secure good insurance coverage, either as a new truck driver, or as an owner of a trucking business?
Commercial truck insurance is quite complex, as multiple firms offer it today, and many types are available. The type of insurance you require may depend on the type of driver you are, or the size and scope of your trucking business or operation.
According to the experts, company drivers may not require policies which protect against loss due to equipment breakdown. Lease owner operators will require careful reading of agreements, to carefully find out which types of truck insurance are not included in their lease.
Owner operators with authority will need to buy all of the necessary coverage for their vehicles. The truck that you drive, and the type of cargo you haul will also have an impact on your necessary coverage. In general, the types of commercial truck insurance that new drivers may require will include the following: Liability, physical damage, motor truck cargo, refrigeration breakdown or reefer breakdown, trailer interchange and bobtail.
Liability will pay for damage to other vehicles, as well as for medical expenses of other drivers and their passengers. Physical damage pays for repairs to your truck, especially if you’re involved in an accident that is your fault. It may also cover you if your truck is stolen.
Now, motor truck cargo will pay for the goods that are damages due to an accident, and this truck insurance may change in cost depending on the type, and quantity, of cargo that your truck hauls. Thus, it’s imperative that you accurately discuss the type of cargo you haul to insurance providers, even if it costs more, so that if you make a claim, it won’t get denied.
Refrigeration breakdown or reefer breakdown insurance pays to replace the goods or items that spoil due to the breakdown of the truck’s refrigeration system. Trailer interchange insurance covers trailer damage that’s sustained from wear and tear of regular use. Load brokers will often require you to have this type of truck insurance, however the minimum coverage may vary.
Finally, bobtail commercial truck insurance will cover you from liability when you are not using your truck for work. For example, it would pay for errands to someone else’s vehicle, especially if you figure in an accident when you’re running errands or not hauling a load.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Truck Insurance
Now, let’s discuss the many factors that affect the cost of commercial truck insurance. For starters, one of the factors that affects the price or cost of this type of insurance includes your driving history.
Your non-commercial or commercial driving history will have an impact on the cost of your truck insurance. For new drivers who do not have an established safe history of commercial operations, they will usually pay more than a seasoned driver for the same coverage. A history of accidents, speeding tickets and other moving violations on your non-commercial or commercial driver’s license may also inflate your rates.
The second factor which affects the cost of your truck insurance includes the type of vehicle. Heavy semi-trucks often cost more to insure than lighter trucks or pickups, because of the increased cost of repairs following an accident or equipment issue.
The third factor affecting the cost of truck insurance is operating radius, or the distance of trips. Driving long distances often means more time between truck stops, as well as driving on unfamiliar roads.
As a result of these, the insurance firms may calculate that long-haul drivers are going to be more likely to get into accidents than local drivers. So, because of the increased risks, the insurance firms tend to charge more for drivers who have a wider or larger operating radius.
The fourth factor that may affect the cost of truck insurance is location, or state. Keep in mind that insurance costs vary from one state to another. Operating in a city, town or state that has lower insurance rates is actually one way to reduce the cost of insurance. SO, do your research on the latest data, as well as find out which states offer the best, or the lowest, rates.
The fifth factor that may affect truck insurance costs includes storage. Yes, where you store or park your truck between loads can impact the cost of your insurance. For example, if you are an owner or operator, and you park your truck in an unsecured location, then the likelihood of theft or vandalism may be higher. Thus, the cost of physical damage insurance will likely increase accordingly.
The sixth factor that may affect truck insurance includes cargo. The type of cargo you carry is actually one of the biggest determinants of insurance. Thus, cargo that is more likely to cause serious injury or harm during an accident may raise insurance rates. In addition, hauling more expensive goods or products can also increase the costs of insurance.
The seventh factor that may affect truck insurance rates is deductible. Most commercial truck policies have a deductible, or an amount that one pays out of pocket before the coverage kicks in. In general, commercial vehicle insurance with high deductibles will have lower monthly premiums.
The eight factor that may affect truck insurance costs is the amount of coverage. This means that the more coverage you have, the higher your monthly premiums will be. And, insurance contracts with specific trucking firms will dictate the minimum amount of coverage that you will require.