If you are new to a career in commercial truck driving, you’ve probably thought about commercial truck insurance. Your new company probably offered a sizeable sign-on bonus, tuition reimbursement, and incredible benefits. While this all sounds great, there are costs to consider as well like commercial truck insurance. Your new employer will probably have their own commercial insurance coverage, but individual drivers also need to purchase protection as well.
Working with a trucking company that offers insurance can keep costs down. You’ll also want your own insurance policy if you plan to work for yourself. Finding the best commercial truck insurance for new drivers isn’t easy. There are many insurance companies and even more options for your commercial truck insurance. Finding the best insurance policy requires understanding the ins and outs of commercial insurance.
1. Collect the right information
Obtaining commercial truck insurance for new drivers can be tricky. To make the process easier, you’ll want to be armed with the necessary information. While you might be able to get a quote from a commercial truck insurance company without knowing everything, being ready will make the process run smoothly.
- Current insurance policy declarations page. If you do not currently have a commercial dec page, a personal auto page will work.
- Drivers license numbers and your driving records.
- VIN numbers of each vehicle you’ll be driving, including safety and security features.
- Copies of any training or certifications relevant to operating a commercial truck.
2. Learn what commercial truck insurance covers
There are a variety of types of insurance policies and add-on programs. It may be impossible to know them all, but you should know the four main types of insurance options and discuss them with your agent.
- Liability insurance. This is the mandatory insurance that pays for general liabilities, including damage you cause with your truck. Damages might include property or bodily injuries.
- Bobtail insurance. This insurance is voluntary and covers your vehicle when you’re not working, but using the vehicle for personal business.
- Motor truck cargo. This insurance covers the load you are carrying. It isn’t legally required, but some companies will insist that you have it.
- Physical damage coverage. This insurance option covers your truck against things like fire, theft, or natural disasters.
3. Learn how to save on commercial truck insurance cost
While you want the best coverage for your business needs, you also want the most affordable commercial insurance available. Price isn’t everything when it comes to finding insurance, but it is a huge factor.
- Be honest with your insurance agent. It’s tempting to overstate the value of your vehicle or understate the risks involved. This will actually cost you more after an accident when your insurance company finds out.
- Shop around. Get commercial truck insurance quotes from different auto insurance companies and compare exact products.
- Consider paying for a full year. Often, there is a discount for paying for an entire year. You can even ask about purchasing multiple years at once.
- Increase your deductible. While it might require more out of pocket after an accident, you can save on your monthly premiums by opting for a higher deductible.
4. Negotiate for the best rates
Getting the best rates requires working with insurance companies. Most of these companies want your business, so they will be open to negotiating to some degree. There are certainly limits to what an insurance company can do.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a better rate. There might be something the insurance company overlooked or didn’t mention that can save you money.
- When it’s time to renew, tell your insurance company that you are shopping around. This will most likely lead to a conversation about options for lower payments.
- Offer additional training. Some insurance companies will offer a discount for safety or maintenance programs. See what options your carrier has.
5. Use safety to your advantage
The longer you can remain accident-free, the more likely you’ll see your insurance rates drop. It’s not always easy, but being vigilant can pay off.
- Invest in additional training or licenses that make you a better driver.
- Watch your blind spots. Other motorists may not be aware of where you can’t see. While it may be frustrating, take extra caution.
- Keep your truck well maintained. Give your vehicle a quick inspection each morning to make sure everything is in order: fluid levels, horn, mirrors, and so on. Get your truck serviced on time.
- Take care of yourself. The most significant part of safety on the road has to do with the driver. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat right, and get sufficient time to rest before getting behind the wheel.
6. Know what to do in case of an accident
Accidents are called accidents for a reason; no one plans on getting into a wreck or causing damage. Even the best drivers can find themselves involved in an accident caused by someone else not paying attention to the road. It is best to be prepared.
- Seek medical attention. Massive commercial trucks can cause massive damage.
- Stay at the accident scene. You can move your vehicle out of the way but wait at the site for responders to arrive.
- Call the police. The responding officer will write up a report that you can use for your insurance claims.
- Collect information. Get contact and insurance information for anyone involved in the accident. Make sure to get contact information from any witnesses as well.
- Take photos. Get detailed shots of the accident site, any vehicle or property damage, and any injuries sustained.
- Contact your insurance company. Provide them with the details of the accident. If you are at fault, you may also want to contact an attorney with experience in commercial truck accidents.
Be smart about obtaining commercial truck insurance so that you can focus on enjoying your new career. Do you have any advice for new truck drivers looking for commercial insurance policies? Leave a comment below.