What Kind of Insurance Coverage Do Trucking Companies Need?

Strong Tie Insurance October 22, 2019 Commercial Truck Insurance

Life on the road is a life of risk. Whether your truck experiences an engine malfunction causing you to lose control or someone else isn’t paying attention and collides with your big rig, accidents happen. If part of your business involves driving a semi-truck, you need to have commercial trucking insurance

Driving without the appropriate insurance puts you at risk. An accident could destroy your biggest asset and put you in financial ruin. And not only that – in many states, it’s illegal to operate heavy trucks without the necessary insurance coverage. 

Why You Need Commercial Truck Insurance

One of the first reasons you should consider carrying commercial insurance is that it’s required by law. Keeping your company legal is critical to your business’ success. If you are making payments or leasing your commercial vehicles, your lender may also require a certain level of insurance to protect their interests. 

Beyond individual requirements for insurance, you also need to protect your business. An accident, regardless of who is at fault, can cost your company a great deal of time and money. Insurance exists to help mitigate those damages. Having the proper insurance plan provides the confidence to do your job and keep your business on the road. 

Since businesses carry substantial rusk, they require more sophisticated coverage options. This risk is what separates commercial policies from your personal driving policy. Given this, your personal policy won’t cover your commercial vehicle. 

Covered vehicles

Some insurance companies will only cover specific types of vehicles, while others will cover a larger span of trucks. There are even some companies that will offer both commercial and personal vehicles, so you might decide to look for bundle options. Whether your fleet contains dump trucks, flatbeds, box trucks, vans, or semi-trucks, make sure to find an insurance carrier that covers your needs. 

Types of Insurance Coverage

Finding the best insurance plan is easy when you know what type you need for your particular business. Here are the different kinds of insurance you may need:

Read More: Know the Right Truck Insurance Coverage for Your Business

  • General Liability: Accidents can happen anywhere, even when not operating a truck. General liability insurance covers these kinds of instances. For example, if someone were to slip and fall at the loading dock or if the cargo is damaged while being loaded.
  • Primary Auto Liability: Every carrier must have a liability policy, according to federal guidelines. This coverage does not help fix damage to your truck but exists to cover any damage you do to others while operating your commercial vehicle.
  • Physical Damage: If you finance or lease your commercial truck, you may be required to carry physical damage insurance. This coverage protects your truck and trailer; it helps to repair or replace damage to your rig due to an accident, theft, or vandalism.
  • Non-Trucking Liability: If there is an accident with a truck while the driver is not on dispatch, non-trucking liability kicks in. Sometimes this is called deadhead or bobtail coverage.
  • Motor Truck Cargo Coverage: If you have issues with your cargo like if something is stolen or your refrigeration breaks down, you’ll want to be covered. There may be scenarios where insurance doesn’t include the shipment. For example, some policies exclude instances where the vehicle is unattended. Make sure to read and understand your cargo coverage before moving forward.
  • Trailer Interchange: If your company is using a trailer it doesn’t own, there is most likely a trailer-interchange agreement in place.
  • Non-Owned Trailer Liability: If you are hauling a trailer owned by someone else without an interchange agreement, you may want to rely on non-owned liability.
  • Medical Payment: If you or a passenger are injured while on dispatch, you could end up with some hefty medical bills. Medical payment insurance helps cover those medical expenses.
  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If you are in an accident and the other, at-fault party doesn’t have sufficient coverage, you may not get the necessary amount of money to be made whole. In this case, an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy will help make up the difference.
  • Terminal Coverage: If you expect to have goods sitting at a specific terminal for some time, but less than 72 hours, you can get terminal coverage. This policy protects those goods while they are being stored.
  • Warehouse Legal: If you plan to have your cargo stored for more than 72 hours, you can consider a warehouse legal policy. This policy covers goods that are lost due to theft, fire, sprinkler damages, etc.

Steps to Obtaining Your Commercial Truck Insurance

1. Do Your Research

Before officially applying to work with a particular insurance carrier, do your research. Part of your homework is preparing the necessary information that insurance carriers use to determine price: personal driving records, where trucks are stored, types of cargo you carry, and the types of vehicles in your fleet. 

2. Obtain Quotes

Be prepared to request quotes from multiple companies. Keep your current policy declaration page handy so that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison. Ask questions and make adjustments regarding your potential policies, so you know exactly what is being offered. 

Read More: Commercial Trucking Insurance: Average Cost, Coverage and Requirement

 3. Have The Correct Information

Gather driving information from anyone who will be on your policy. This information includes driver’s license numbers and operating histories. Insurance carriers will also want the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of each truck in your fleet. Make sure that the information you provide is accurate as being dishonest could land you in trouble down the road. 

Get Commercial Truck Insurance

One of the most substantial elements of your budget is going to be your commercial trucking insurance. Lost or damaged cargo, injuries, property damage, and downed vehicles are just a few of the significant risks you’ll face on the road. Having commercial insurance is more than just another expense. Instead, your insurance policy is protection against the worst things that can happen. 

Commercial insurance protects your livelihood. It’s worth taking the necessary time to understand what makes up your insurance policy. It’s vital to revisit your insurance policy from time to time to make sure you have the appropriate coverage at the best price for your budget. 

Comprehensive Commercial Trucking Insurance

Get the appropriate coverage you need from a trusted insurance provider.