Why You Should Get Owner Operator Insurance

Strong Tie Insurance February 4, 2020 Commercial Truck Insurance StrongtieInsurance

There is a difference between truck drivers who own and those who lease semi-trucks for their jobs. While these two routes to working on the open road both have their pros and cons, you’ll notice that they each have unique commercial trucking insurance needs. When you own your truck, you operate under your own authority instead of that of another company.

At Strong Tie Insurance, we can help find the right kind of insurance for your needs – whether you’re looking for an owner-operator policy or general trucking insurance for your business. We can even help you evaluate your business and insurance needs. When it comes to protecting your business at a price that won’t hurt your bottom line, contact Strong Tie Insurance – and start that conversation today.

Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about or are already owning your own semi-truck:

Owner Operators Vs. Company Truck Drivers

Chances are, you already fall into one of these significant categories of truck drivers. If you’re starting a new career as a trucker, you might be looking at options. The most prominent elements you want to consider before buying yourself a truck or joining a company’s team involves your finances and time.

The general skill set is the same whether you own, lease, borrow, etc. Your financial situation is going to play a major role in which route to take. Buying a commercial vehicle comes at a cost, even leasing one will require that you have some funds to get you up and running! You should also evaluate whether you want to simply work for someone else or be in charge of your own business. There are no right or wrong answers, as the best path depends entirely on you.

Company Drivers

When you work for a company, the truck belongs to them. You may even drive a different truck each time you’re sent on the road. You don’t have to spend money out of your pocket for oil changes, maintenance, etc. You also tend to get a little more leisure time depending on your schedule. On the downside, you could make less money than owning and operating your own vehicle. Companies might have seasons where they want to get the most out of your work so that could mean long hours. As for commercial trucking insurance, you’ll still need your own policy but might get some supplemental coverage from your employer.

Owner Operator Drivers

When you own your truck, you may have more responsibility and costs, but should take a more significant piece of the profits. You’re your own boss. You can take time off whenever you want, but you’re not making money unless you’re working. You are also responsible for different kinds of insurance to protect your interests.

Do I Need Owner Operator Trucking Insurance?

Every state requires primary liability insurance, which is often referred to as the state minimum coverage. If you operate a truck for a company, your carrier most likely has liability insurance for all of its drivers.

If you are an owner-operator, you may need to add additional types of insurance to fully protect yourself. If you figure in an accident while off the clock, you could be held fully responsible. You might have to pay legal fees, damages, and more out of your own pocket.

Types of Owner Operator Trucking Insurance

If you are working under your own authority or have a permanent lease, there are several kinds of commercial insurance that your dispatcher won’t purchase on your behalf. Depending on your circumstances, you may still need these types of coverage to protect your business.

If You Operative Under Your Own Authority

  • Liability Insurance pays for damage that you cause. It helps provide relief for both physical damages and bodily injuries to other parties.
  • Physical Damage Insurance covers damage to your truck in an accident and can help repair or replace your vehicle.
  • Motor Truck Cargo Insurance covers the property you are hauling in situations where it is damaged or stolen.

If You Work Under A Permanent Lease

  • Non-Trucking Liability Insurance covers you while you are not under dispatch – especially if you are using your truck for personal use. It also helps in between jobs.
  • Physical Damage Insurance helps to fix or replace your truck in case it is damaged or stolen.
  • Trailer Insurance covers a trailer that you do not own and is damaged under a trailer interchange agreement.

Getting the Best Commercial Owner Operator Insurance Rates

Even though you understand the importance of having owner operator insurance, you still might be concerned about adding the extra costs to your business expenses. Of course, going without the right kinds of coverage can be extremely costly, so you do not want to skimp. But you can still look to get the best rates available. Here’s what you need to know:

Multiple Quotes with Equal Comparisons

It’s OK to shop around. Even if you already have commercial insurance, you should still do your due diligence and get new quotes from time to time. When you’re comparing quotes from different companies, it’s vital that you compare apples to apples. One company might have a better rate but not include the coverages that you need.

Be Prepared

When shopping around for insurance policies, make sure you have the appropriate information at hand. Insurers want to know information about your vehicle, your driving record, and more. It’s also crucial that you’re honest to the best of your ability. While you might be able to get a quote with all of the necessary information, the most accurate price will come from providing the most accurate details.

Let Strong Tie Insurance Evaluate Your Insurance Needs

We cover all types of commercial hailers, from dump trucks to long haul 18-wheelers. Our team of experts understands the trucking business and knows what it’s like to be on the road. As an owner-operator, you may feel like you’re running your business alone. With Strong Tie Insurance, you’re never by yourself. As one of the nation’s leading commercial truck insurers, we help you get the exact coverage you need!

Give us a call to get a free evaluation and quote for your owner operator insurance needs.