When you’re out on the road driving for your business, you are taking risks. Whether it’s rush hour traffic, bad weather, or other drivers losing attention, your business is at risk. This is why it’s important to know and understand the importance of insurance for trucking business.
It’s not enough to have any old commercial insurance; you want the most affordable, but best truck insurance available. With all of the options available, it can be challenging to determine the best options for your needs. Luckily, there are some key points to consider when looking for the best and most affordable commercial truck insurance for your business.
What to consider?
It’s not uncommon to shop around only looking at prices. Part of running a successful business is keeping costs down, so why not go with the cheapest option? It’s best first to understand what impacts price. Commercial insurance companies have to look at several factors when generating their quotes:
- Types of and number of vehicles in your feet
- Individual driving records of your driving team
- Your company’s safety and inspection history
- The kind of cargo you haul
- Where you deliver your cargo
- The types of coverage you want
Ultimately, the best price doesn’t always mean the best value. You’ll want to consider many other pieces of the puzzle when looking for commercial truck insurance.
Comprehensive Commercial Trucking Insurance
2. Types of coverages that are offered
Insurance options will vary, so it’s essential to know your needs and to find a company that is best suited to help protect your specific business. Here are the several types of insurance options and what they cover:
General liability insurance: The action of a driver on someone else’s property: loading docks, truck stops, and mistakes made in delivery.
Primary liability: The damage your driver causes while operating your truck.
Physical damage: Property damage to your equipment from an accident or theft.
Non-trucking liability: Physical damages or injuries to others while your commercial vehicle is not under dispatch.
Motor truck cargo: Shipment in case of theft, wet/damaged, a breakdown in refrigeration, etc.
Trailer interchange: Non-owned trailer being used under a trailer interchange agreement.
Medical payments: Medical bills for your driver or passenger who is injured while traveling in your truck.
Un/Underinsured motorists: If someone else causes an accident to your vehicle and does not have sufficient insurance to cover damages.
3. Knowledge and experience
You know your business. You want an insurance company that knows your business, too. Insurance companies are in the business of assessing risk, so you’ll want to make sure that your insurance carrier understands the risks and types of accidents that can occur.
Using a cheap commercial insurance company that doesn’t have the proper experience will ultimately cost you money and time. Imagine being involved in an accident that results in a hazardous waste spill. An insurance company with experience will send a claims adjuster who understands the process for cleaning up that spill. An insurance adjuster who doesn’t know this process may leave clean up to local law enforcement, which is far more expensive and wasteful.
4. Customer Service
Let’s say you find a discounted commercial truck insurance carrier at a reasonable price, the products you need, and an understanding of your industry. Is it worth it if they only allow you to make claims during certain hours, don’t return your calls, or don’t have the proper response times to your claims? An after-house accident or delay can become very expensive and could even put your company at a higher risk.
Some commercial insurance companies will offer additional services that can help reduce your bottom line while bolstering growth. For example, a quality company may have experts who can work with you on loss control and risk management so you can prevent accidents from even happening. Other companies have helpful newsletters, manuals, and hotlines created to answer questions about safety and compliance.
Questions to ask Truck Insurance Agencies
When looking for the best, most affordable commercial truck insurance for your company, there are many questions that you should ask. While there may not necessarily be a universally right answer for each item, there are answers that are right for your business. Get the best information to make the best choice for your needs and budget.
What is the company’s rating? Not all scores are the same. There are several insurance rating organizations: A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor are the big hitters. An A rating goes to companies that perform at the top of their industries. C and D ratings are considered weak. Check multiple ratings when possible.
Is the policy limited or unlimited? An unlimited policy will cover almost all hazards and losses imagined under that particular type of insurance. A limited policy will have limitations on what is included.
What kind of cargo is covered? Does the policy cover a broad form or only specific freight? Will it cover what you need?
Is there an additional deductible? The deductible amount is already an important thing to consider, check to see if there are other deductibles for certain types of cargo, locations, distances, etc.
Does the company specialize in trucking? If the company does specialize, does it prefer local trips or long hauls? What kinds of trips does your company need to be covered?
Does the company have 24/7 claim reporting options? Faster claims can save you money and time.
Does the company have references? It is always worth talking to other owner-operators to hear about their experiences.
Whether you are launching a new venture and are looking for insurance for the first time or are a long-time operator looking for a better option, it is worth shopping around for the best, most affordable commercial insurance policy for your business. There has never been a better time to make a positive change.
Do you have any tips for finding great commercial truck insurance for your business, leave a comment below.