Many of those new to trucking grow increasingly frustrated every year. As soon as the time comes, it seems nothing you’ve done or can do will alleviate the tremendous semi-trucking insurance increases. You might’ve maintained a spotless driving record. You might’ve avoided having to file any insurance claims at all. Yet, there is an undeniable rise in cost.
Rising costs of insurance premiums are a reality that you often can’t impact, but there are several hacks to ensure the increases aren’t too dramatic. These considerations often also apply to tow truck and dump truck companies.
1. Toe The Compliance Line
You’re probably already incredibly familiar with safety audits, D.O.T. roadside inspections, and compliance checks. What many owners/operators aren’t aware of is that trucking insurers often examine safety data when determining how much you pay for insurance. This can be a positive for you, or a negative. Compliance may often seem like a needless redundancy, but it can save you money. Not only will you pay less for your insurance, you will also have to spend much less on fines or administrative sanctions.
2. Guard Your Driving Record
The overwhelming amount of your insurance cost will be closely associated with your driving record. While it might seem more efficient to creep a little over the speed limit, it can be a disastrous idea. As your speed increases, so do your chances of getting tickets or being involved in accidents. A good driving record is an imperative to maintain cost-effective premiums. Keep a steady and unwavering eye on your driving record. Once upon a time, truck drivers could minimize the impact associated with tickets, with the help of a good lawyer. That isn’t so today. Avoid tickets as if your livelihood depended upon it, because it often does.
3. Increase Your Insurance Deductibles
It may seem like a terrible option, but it’s a common way to lower your premiums. This option will raise your out-of-pocket expenses before your insurance begins to pay. This means you take some of the responsibilities associated with your job, and it’s often favorably looked upon by insurance companies.
4. The Benefits of a Thorough Safety Policy
A good written safety policy may seem like a waste of time, but it can be key to making your costs more affordable. A written policy specifies how a driver manages accidents, safety-sensitive issues, and even how to handle drug or substance abuse. For those who own trucking companies, it might make you feel like you’re making negative assumptions towards your drivers. Safety policies, however, are becoming commonplace. Rig insurance firms have a vested interest in lowering risks, and they know owners and operators who have the forethought to implement safety policies will generally keep that safety in mind. A standard reward for such a practice is usually lower insurance premiums.
5. Consider Bidding Insurance
You may be incredibly satisfied with your truckers’ insurance company and the service they provide. You might’ve been a customer for years, and they may answer your call promptly and courteously every time you have a question. That doesn’t change the fact that you may pay less elsewhere. When you competitively bid for your commercial truck insurance every year, you can verify the premium standard throughout the industry. This keeps you abreast of what amounts are common. This doesn’t mean you automatically have to leave your insurer, because many companies will match the amounts from rival companies. However, it also provides you with access to an alternative, should your current insurer refuse to match the rate.
6. Consider Buying Insurance “In Bulk”
There’s no denying the need for cost-effective options in the trucking industry. Every owner/operator is already well-versed in budgeting a finite amount of revenue. You can also consider buying your tractor trailer insurance “in bulk.” Just like the big box stores, sometimes there are discounts for making long-term purchases with insurance. Ask your insurer how much you can save by paying your premiums on a quarterly basis. Can you save more by making a lump payment bi-yearly? Do the savings translate as well if you pay your premiums once a year? These are often payment options that pay you back.
7. Watch your Credit Score
Many owners/operators aren’t aware that your credit score can have a tremendous impact on their insurance premiums. It is unclear as to precisely why, but many insurance companies feel credit scores are indicative of driving performance. That isn’t the only element considered in an insurance company risk score, they also factor in marital status and age. Fortunately, some states don’t allow this practice, but a number do. The current consensus is that drivers who have low credit scores are less careful drivers. The only way to alleviate this is to improve your current credit standing.
8. Lease onto a Large Carrier
Many owners/operators become truckers because of the independence it offers. You are your own authority and your business decisions are your own. There are undeniable benefits to leasing onto a large carrier. This often translates into lower truck insurance premiums. The loss of business control is a negative, but just how negative will be a factor for your consideration. You may gain far more savings and advantages than you are aware of.
9. Seek Associate Rates
There are a number of successful trucking associations that offer members access to association insurance rates. The value of such a decision will ultimately belong to the owner/operator. What are the pros and cons? You should ensure the cost of membership is worth what you will save on insurance.
10. Perform Thorough Checks on Potential Drivers
If you hire a co-driver who has a bad driving record or a lack of experience, that can also increase your insurance premiums. If you verify your co-driver is well-experienced and has an excellent record, you can actually save money. You’ll also have the added benefit of knowing the person you chose is efficient and effective behind-the-wheel.
11. Stay in Your Lane and Out of Ditches
This can’t be emphasized enough. Your coverage costs are directly related to the amount and severity of previously filed claims. Don’t leave this risk up to chance. Avoid practices such as tailgating, speeding, or driving recklessly. These practices result in unnecessary accidents, which might be fatal to you or the drivers around you. Poor driving practices increase your risk of an accident, and if they result in claims, they will drastically raise the cost of your premiums.
These measures won’t create dramatic insurance savings if you only adopt one or two. If practiced as a collective, they can help you save an impressive amount of money annually.
For more information on commercial truck insurance in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, North Carolina & South Carolina, contact us.