In order to be a successful truck driver or trucking business, you will need to have insurance. Whether you’re an owner-operator or an independent contractor, all truck drivers are required by law to have insurance. Truck insurance covers the damages to your truck and injuries you sustain when you get in an accident. These tips will help you choose the right commercial truck insurance.
Protect Yourself From Liability
When you are making a purchasing decision regarding your truck insurance, you want to make sure to choose the one that offers you the best protection. This is especially true when it comes to liability for property damage and bodily injury. Not having enough coverage can end up in a lawsuit that you can’t recover from.
Insure a Cheaper Truck
You can easily save money on truck insurance by starting with a truck that is cheaper to insure. Buying a newer, more expensive truck can make your premium double when compared to what it would be for a less expensive truck.
Find Insurance Before You Buy a Truck
You should always think about the insurance before buying a truck. Get insurance quotes for the particular truck you’re looking at to compare how much it would cost you in the long run. This can help you make a responsible decision that is best for businesses, especially when they are just starting.
Always Shop Around
Make sure you compare at least a couple of insurance agencies and their quotes. Rates can vary from one place to the next. It’s essential to continue to shop for truck insurance at least once a year to make sure you are getting the best rates.
You can choose to do business directly with insurance companies or work with a broker who represents several companies and makes getting quotes a little bit easier. However, it is important to remember that your broker doesn’t know your business as well as you do. Make sure to give them all of the necessary information so that they can get the correct quotes.
Consider Towing Coverage
It’s possible that your truck may eventually get stuck somewhere, whether its due to a mechanical malfunction or an accident. If you have towing insurance, you won’t get stuck paying hefty towing costs to tow a heavy-duty truck. Most affordable commercial truck insurance companies will offer towing at a low rate, so make sure to add it on.
Follow Your State’s Guidelines
Each state differs in its commercial truck insurance laws. You will want to do some research to find out what types of insurance are required by law based on your type of trucking business. For example, if you carry cargo, you will need motor truck cargo insurance to protect you from liability when it comes to the items you are moving.
Inquire About Discounts
When you are speaking with an insurance agent, make sure to ask about any discounts they are offering so that you can get the most bang for your buck. Some insurance companies may not provide information about discounts immediately, so it’s up for you to bring it up during the process of receiving a quote.
Understand the Policy
Before making a final decision and signing your policy, you should go over it very carefully. You need to make sure that you understand everything and the types of coverage you are receiving. It may also be helpful to have a professional explain everything to you since trucking insurance coverage jargon may not be your second language. You need to know what you’re covered for to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth.
Across insurers, you should find that coverages are similar. However, they may differ in minor ways that have a significant impact on your business. For example, some insurance companies may offer cargo coverage on a Specified Perils basis. This means that if your loss falls outside of the specific conditions within the policy, you could be paying for that cargo loss out of your own pocket.
Look at Your Insurance Company’s Reputation
Your insurance company should be known for trucking insurance. You probably have friends in the same industry as you, so ask around and find out what insurance they use and how it benefits their business. If you get positive feedback about a couple, then you can do some investigating on your own to help you find the one that’s best for you.
Always Consider Cost
It’s important for many businesses always to consider the cost of their insurance. That’s why they shop around, after all. Trucking insurance costs thousands, but you might end up paying a whole lot more if you don’t have it.
Insurers may give you a quote that is cheaper than the competition, but after further consideration, you realize that they aren’t offering as much coverage as the others. While affordable insurance is necessary, you should never just pick the lowest quote without learning about the details.
Commercial Truck Insurance Customer Service: Are they there for you?
Before making your final purchasing decision, you want to make sure that the insurance company is there for you. You want to make sure that they are reputable, and will be able to assist you when you need them. Because there are different types of trucking businesses, you also want to make sure that they understand your particular business and can offer you the insurance coverage that best fits. If they don’t seem to know your business, you should probably go somewhere else for insurance.
Remember, your insurance company needs to know how to handle your claim after an accident properly. If they only allow claims reporting on weekdays during business hours, you will want to find another insurance company that can help you deal with claims after hours and weekends. This way, an accident can be addressed quickly so that you can get back on the road with minimal delay.
Always Ask Questions
You never want to make a final decision without all of your questions being answered. Make sure you’re asking the right questions so that your broker can help you as best they can. Consider asking these questions:
- What is the insurance company rated?
- Is the policy unlimited?
- What type of cargo form is included?
- Is there an additional deductible?
- Do they specialize in trucking?
- Do they have 24/7 claims reporting?
- Are there references available?