According to statistics, approximately 500,000 trucking accidents happen each year.
This is just one of the potential losses that a trucking company faces. Truck and cargo theft, third party damage and injury, and cargo damage are all areas of loss that trucking companies need to plan for and protect themselves against.
This is where commercial truck insurance comes in. With the right insurance plan, you can rest assured that you can feel your protected from potential loss.
However, finding coverage that will really protect you can be hard. Before you start shopping for insurance, it's essential that you understand the basics of truck insurance, as well as what to look for in providers and packages.
Ready to get clued up on commercial truck insurance? Stay with us as we unpack the basics of this essential insurance type.
Types of Commercial Truck Insurance
Before you start requesting truck insurance quotes, it's essential that you know about the different types of commercial truck insurance and what they cover. Otherwise, you won't know what you're quoted for.
Here are some of the primary types of commercial truck insurance.
Truckers' Liability Coverage
Truckers’ Primary Auto Liability Coverage
This is the first stop for a trucker. Not only is it a requirement by the FMCSA (minimum $750,000), but it is where your risk lies. 80,000-lb vehicles going down the road at upwards of 70 mph cause a lot of damage when they hit something. This is the coverage needed should you hit another vehicle, a building, a guardrail, or God forbid cause injury or death. $750,000 is just the starting point, and almost every motor carrier has $1,000,000-$2,000,000 or more.
Truckers General Liability Coverage
This is for a property damage or injury claim that happens outside of the operation of your truck. Maybe you go into an office and knock over a priceless vase. The risk is low, and therefore the premium is relatively low to include in your policy.
Physical Damage Coverage
Another essential insurance type for trucks is physical damage coverage. This covers damage to your truck, in the event of theft or an accident. You also want to make sure you’re comfortable with the deductible options. Too high, and your pocket hurts at claim time. Too low, and you’re paying more premium than you need to.
Motor Truck Cargo Coverage
When transporting goods, there's more to worry about than just the truck involved—there's the cargo as well. This is where motor truck cargo coverage comes in.
Depending on the type of cargo insurance you get, you'll be covered against cargo theft and/or damage, debris clean up, etc.
Not all cargo coverage packages cover all of these areas, so it's important to find one that offers the best coverage. A quality agent will be able to show you the differences between several cargo options.
Truck transportation often involves trailer interchange agreements. While these are becoming more and more outdated, customers like Amazon still require the coverage. If you sign a trailer interchange agreement, this is the coverage needed in case you damage the non-owned trailer.
Uninsured and Underinsured Driver
Although motor insurance is mandatory in most of the US, an estimated 13% of drivers in the US are uninsured.
In the event that your truck is involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, this commercial truck insurance can cover your injuries and/or damages to your vehicles. It is important to know the difference.
What to Look for in Commercial Truck Insurance
Once you know about the main types of commercial truck insurance, it's time to start insurance shopping. However, before you begin vetting providers and securing quotes, here are a few specific things to look for.
A Good Deal
Something every truck owner wants from their insurance is a good deal. However, it's important not to confuse this with the cheapest option.
What might seem like cheap commercial truck insurance could work out to be more expensive than other options—depending on what's included.
For instance, a package with low premiums might actually cost you more over time, if the deductibles are high. On the other hand, a package with a higher monthly premium, but which is a zero-deductible plan may work out cheaper.
Prompt Claims Processing
When looking at potential commercial truck insurance companies and plans, make sure you vet for prompt claims processing. Not all claims departments are created equally.
The faster your claim can be processed, the quicker you can get back on the road. In the logistics industry, time is money, therefore ensure you don't land up with an unresponsive insurance company that takes days to get back to you.
Another of the important commercial truck insurance requirements you should have when looking at insurers is their specialization. Do they specialize in truck insurance? If not, they might not be the best choice.
Commercial truck insurance companies employ experienced Transport Risk Specialists (TRS) who are versed in assessing your risks and working with you to get the best rates and the most thorough coverage.
You should also enquire with specific commercial truck insurance companies whether they specialize in local radius or long haul coverage, as this can affect whether their plans are a good fit for your needs.
Do You Need Commercial Truck Insurance?
Commercial truck insurance is vital for any truck owner. However, it's not a good idea to take out the first (or cheapest) option you find. Instead, you need to comb through your options carefully to find the provider and package that will get you the most value for your premiums.
Want watertight insurance at the best rates? Our certified TRS independent agents know more about truckers' insurance than 99% of other commercial truck insurance companies.
Instead of searching for "commercial truck insurance near me" contact us for a quote today and see how we can win you the most bulletproof coverage at the lowest rates.