If you are a small business owner or the owner-operator of a trucking and logistics service, you open yourself up a certain amount of risk just by operating. There’s no telling what will happen when you’re on the road, and even small accidents, break downs, and other minor issues can lead to huge costs if you’re uninsured.
What’s more, you also have to consider your liability in the event of an accident. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,440 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2016, the most recent year for which there is comprehensive data at the time of this writing.
In 2016, there were an estimated 119,000 crashes involving large trucks and buses that resulted in injuries, again according to the FMCSA.
Like typical automobile insurance coverage, commercial truck insurance, at it’s most basic, covers incidents like collisions and repairs to your vehicles. However, you can also obtain more specialized forms of coverage that cover the bodily injury of others, damage to property, and even the cargo you carry in your trucks.
What is the Average Cost of Commercial Truck Insurance?
The cost of commercial truck insurance varies because it depends on numerous factors, such as your company’s driving history, the number of vehicles you intend to ensure, where your business operates, and your safety record.
Generally, the average cost for an owner-operator with authority is about $8,000 to $14,000 per year. However, it can get as high as $20,000 per year depending on the driver’s experience.
If you use smaller trucks that only deliver locally, or if you use other types of trucks, such as dump trucks or construction vehicles, the cost of your coverage will be different.
In any case, it’s usually in your best interest to get quotes from multiple providers before deciding on an insurance policy.
What Different Types of Commercial Truck Insurance Are There?
Some states have specific requirements for commercial trucking insurance. For example, California requires truck drivers to maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance. This is a requirement for them to use public roads as part of their business operations.
In order to obtain a motor carrier permit (MCP), you must have liability coverage ranging from $300,000 to $5,000,000 depending on the vehicles and the cargo you are transporting.
Some of the types of commercial trucks you can get covered include:
- Local, intermediate, and long-haul commercial trucks
- Dump trucks
- Tow trucks and automobile haulers
- Container trucks, lumber haulers, and dry freight trucks
- Hazardous material haulers
In most cases, you’ll have multiple coverage options. However, you should always maintain minimum liability coverage in case one of your company vehicles or drivers are the cause of an accident. This includes property damage coverage and personal injury coverage.
Here are some other types of coverage you can obtain through commercial truck insurance:
Feel safer and more secure behind the wheel.
Motor Truck Cargo Coverage
If you operate a freight business in which your vehicles transport valuable products, it is highly recommended that you acquire motor truck cargo coverage. Even a small accident can lead to significant losses of product, as well as shipping delays.
In addition to collisions, there are other ways cargo can become damaged, such as fire, mishandling, or regular wear and tear. Since you are responsible for the cargo you carry, your motor truck cargo coverage will ensure you don’t suffer significant financial losses to replace the product.
You can also get coverage for legal expenses if a client decides to take legal action against you.
Physical Damage Coverage
This type of coverage covers damages vehicles. If one of your vehicles is involved in a crash or collision, you can rest assured that your repair bills won’t skyrocket out of control. Generally, this type of coverage covers collisions with other drivers, a collision with an object, and non-collision accidents which result in damage.
General Liability Coverage
California requires businesses to obtain general liability insurance in order to operate. This type of policy provides coverage for medical payments, bodily and personal injury, property damage, and other types of liability.
With general liability coverage, you are protected against the most common accidents that occur during business operations.
Excess Liability Coverage
Excess liability coverage is similar to general liability coverage, but it goes a step further. This type of policy insures you against catastrophic accidents and damages.
Most businesses acquire excess liability coverage if their industry is generally high risk. If you are an owner-operator of a commercial truck or the owner of a company that operates commercial trucks, you may be interested in obtaining this type of coverage to maintain your business continuity after a catastrophic loss.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage
If you employ drivers as part of your business, you need workers’ compensation coverage. In fact, California requires any company that has employees to obtain this type of coverage or face criminal penalties, including fines and the possibility of jail time.
With this type of coverage, you can cover your employees’ medical costs and lost wages if they are injured or become sick at work.
How Does Commercial Truck Insurance Coverage Work?
Like other types of insurance, you can obtain cheap commercial truck insurance from a private provider like Strong Tie Insurance.
You’ll pay monthly premiums to maintain your coverage. You may have a deductible. In the event of an accident, you’ll pay out-of-pocket up to your deductible. But after you hit your deductible, your insurance coverage will kick in to cover the associated costs.
Some companies that use commercial trucks opt out of extra coverage like excess liability insurance. But you should do a risk assessment of your business before opting out of any type of coverage. A catastrophic incident or a hefty lawsuit could mean the end of your business if you don’t have the right insurance.
Get Coverage for Your Commercial Trucks
If you need cheap commercial truck insurance, there are plenty of companies available to provide it. But Strong Tie Insurance has 20 years of experience insuring both individuals and businesses. We even offer additional services beyond insurance coverage, and our policies are some of the most affordable in the industry.
Contact Strong Tie Insurance today for a free quote or to find out more about commercial truck insurance.