How to Streamline Your Commercial Truck Insurance Claims

Strong Tie Insurance October 5, 2020 Commercial Truck Insurance

While your commercial trucking company is always concerned about the safety of your drivers, the truth is that accidents will happen eventually. However, navigating the process of filing commercial truck insurance claims can often be a tricky road to navigate.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about commercial truck insurance claims, including what it covers and how you can streamline the process if you need to file a claim. If you’re looking to understand the process better, continue reading below to learn more.

The Basics of Commercial Vehicle Insurance Claims

Commercial truck insurance is a specific type of auto insurance policy developed to cover the various needs of a commercial trucking small business. Whether you’re an operator or a business owner, primary liability commercial truck insurance policies are often required as part of a trucking permit. Not only does it protect people and property from potential physical damage caused by your trucks, but it also keeps your business protected, as well.

Most commercial trucking policies start with primary liability and build from that with various options of additional coverage. Primary coverage often covers any harm done to another vehicle or an individual in the event of an accident caused by one of your trucks. On the other hand, general liability offers additional business insurance in the event of a lawsuit against your organization.

Insurance agents often encourage a company to invest in some type of general liability commercial trucking insurance plan, but you may often need at least $750,000 in general liability auto insurance. Additionally, the United States’ Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) usually requires certain commercial trucking companies to show evidence of general liability insurance for truckers.

What Type of Claims Does Commercial Truck Insurance Cover?

Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of commercial truck insurance claims to help you learn how your business will be covered:

Accidents Where the Other Driver is at Fault

If any of your operators are involved in a mishap where the other driver is at fault, a commercial truck insurance business will file a case with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf. Once the case is processed, the other driver’s insurance policy will reimburse the damages. If the other driver lacks sufficient liability insurance, your policy will reimburse the claim.

Accidents Where Your Driver is at Fault

If any of your operators cause a mishap to occur, the other motorist’s insurance company will file a claim with your insurance company on their behalf. Afterward, your insurance will pay for any physical, legal, or medical payments resulting from the accident.

Damaged Property

If any of your operators cause physical damage to someone’s property, your insurance coverage will cover the cost to repair and replace the damage, in what is also known as property insurance.

Your Truck Hits an Animal While Driving

If your operators strike an animal while driving, your insurance coverage will pay for it.

Your Truck is Damaged by Weather or Natural Elements

If any of your business vehicles are damaged by inclement weather such as hail, or if a tree branch falls and damages your vehicle(s), your insurance coverage will cover the insurance claim.

Libel, Slander, and False Advertising

Additionally, if your commercial truck business is involved in any lawsuits due to libel, slander, or false advertising, your insurance coverage will also cover the insurance claim.

How to Streamline Commercial Truck Insurance Claims

Understanding the commercial truck insurance claims process can often be complicated. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can streamline the process.

Immediately Assess the Area After an Accident

After a disaster has occurred, be sure to assess the area to inspect for any damage to your truck or other vehicles, as well as if any injuries occurred. It’s recommended for the operator to take a pen and paper with them while inspecting the area to accurately and descriptively write down all necessary details.

While you might be required to administer first aid to injured individuals in some instances, you should only do so if you are trained and certified to do so.

Additionally, the operator might also want to take their camera phone with them to photograph or record the scene. This may prove to be useful during the process of filing the case.

Call for Emergency Assistance

Next, after the operator has inspected the area for damages and injuries, they will then want to call 911 to speak with a local law enforcement officer. If any motorists sustain a bodily injury during the mishap, the operator will want to provide the dispatcher with this information in case a medical unit needs to be sent to the scene.

If any of your operators are carrying hazardous materials, they will also want to contact the Department of Transportation and inform them, as well.

Collect Driver and Vehicle Information

After the operator has called 911 and is waiting for local law enforcement to arrive at the scene, your trucker will now want to collect as much detail as they can about the accident. This includes any damaged vehicles, any individuals who were injured, and any details from nearby witnesses. Having witness details are crucial in case they are unable to remain at the scene of the accident until local law enforcement arrives.

This step is critical, as most commercial truck insurance cases often get delayed when a commercial trucking business doesn’t provide accurate and descriptive details about the mishap. Instruct your operator to write down the names, telephone numbers, and insurance details of individuals directly involved. Be sure that the operator also collects additional details such as the make, model, license plate, and registration numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident.

Document Any Damage

As previously mentioned, the operator will also want to photograph or write down in descriptive detail if any damage was done to the commercial truck or the other individual’s vehicle while on the road.

Documenting this is critical as it will reduce the likelihood that the other party provides law enforcement with inaccurate information to intentionally increase the damage to their vehicle and increase the commercial insurance payout.

Contact Your Commercial Truck Insurance Provider

Next, your operator will want to take all of these details and provide it to your insurance provider so that they can handle the rest of the process. The more detail your operator can provide is one of the easiest ways to streamline the insurance claim process. While most commercial truck insurance providers will handle the process over the phone at the time of the accident, some providers may want to send an insurance representative to the scene.

Regardless of the outcome, the sooner your commercial truck insurance business can assess the data you provide them with, the quicker and simpler the process will be.

Be Prepared to Meet with the Commercial Insurance Claims Adjuster

Lastly, within a few days following the mishap, a claims adjuster from your commercial truck insurance company may schedule to meet with you or your operator to review the details of the scene and assess your commercial vehicle. During this meeting, the claims adjuster will determine the amount you may hold in your commercial truck insurance policy.

Choose Strong Tie Insurance for Your Commercial Trucking Insurance

Filing commercial trucking insurance claims can be a challenging process, but it’s a critical component when running a commercial trucking business. When accidents occur, you will be thankful that you took the time to add adequate commercial insurance to your policy.

If you’re looking to partner with a commercial trucking insurance agency that will give you confidence that your drivers are safe on the road and save you money, contact us at Strong Tie Insurance today.

We understand that your small business faces risk every day, which is why we’ve worked hard to develop commercial trucking insurance designed to meet the specific needs of your commercial trucking business and make sure you’re insured every step of the way.

Call us at Strong Tie Insurance to speak with an agent to get an insurance quote on any of the various types of commercial truck insurance and liability coverage we provide and how you can save money today.