Operating a commercial trucking company or being an independent truck owner/operator is an enterprise open to both opportunity and challenge. One of the most important considerations for an owner/operator or the administrator of a large trucking company is locating and selecting the best insurance to cover all the risks facing their particular enterprise at a cost that’s manageable.
Whether you’re new to the trucking industry, or a veteran manager of a major trucking company, it’s important to choose an insurer carefully and to review your company’s insurance coverage on a regular basis, to make certain it’s up to date with current requirements. A specialty trucking industry insurer can also help you note improvements you might make regarding your vehicles and staff to save on commercial truck insurance rates.
Here is an overview of commercial truck insurance requirements, types of commercial truck insurance, and ways to manage costs. Our goal as truck insurance specialists is to help you make certain your trucks and drivers are fully protected at a price you can afford.
Basics of commercial truck insurance requirements
The two basic types of commercial truck insurance are a primary insurance policy that covers damage to other vehicles or persons if an accident occurs. Such a policy protects the public.
But what if circumstances occur that require additional protection? What if someone involved in the accident sues your company? A general liability commercial trucking plan, in addition to a basic commercial trucking insurance policy is recommended, to provide more complete coverage. Special policies like bobtail, cargo, rig, and owner/operator insurance cover additional types of risks.
Various laws are in place regarding mandatory amounts for commercial truck insurance coverage. All trucks are required to carry at least $750,000 in insurance coverage. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can require certain trucking operations to show proof of adequate general liability coverage.
General liability truck insurance policies frequently cover:
- Bodily injury compensation to people injured by your truck or on your property.
- Property or commodities damaged, or anything that inadvertently happens to shipments on the way to their destination.
- Driver accidents and property damaged at delivery locations.
- Libel, slander and false advertising claims.
Responsible trucking companies voluntarily carry as much insurance as possible, in as many types as necessary, to maintain coverage for any type of damage their fleet or staff members might incur, as well as for loss of cargo and any damage caused by hazardous products they may haul.
Purchasing adequate commercial trucking insurance adds to the cost of doing business. But the peace of mind it provides for owners, managers and drivers is well worth the expense. Good insurance can save your business in the event of a serious accident.
More specific types of commercial truck insurance
It’s essential to have coverage for any possible type of problem, to protect the security of your business. Here are some additional types of insurance you must consider as a commercial truck owner/operator or fleet manager.
Basically, bobtail insurance protects drivers when driving a truck without a trailer. It pays for damages if an accident occurs and protects the driver from lawsuits, and from paying for damages out of his or her own pocket. Many motor carriers wisely require their drivers to carry bobtail insurance.
Every load you haul is precious valuable cargo. It deserves its own insurance, specific to the type of product.
Owner operator insurance
Owner-operators have much at risk. Their truck is their livelihood. They should have a comprehensive insurance policy specific to their needs.
The oil and gas industry presents some unique hazards. Any trucking company contracting for that industry should be protected by rig insurance.
As a truck company owner, or driver, you need protection that’s personalized for your needs. Our company carries a wide variety of commercial truck insurance types to suit your specific requirements – from basic commercial truck policies to additional plans that cover the gaps.
The cost of commercial truck insurance
Trucking insurance for an owner operator with their own authority generally runs anywhere from $8,000 to $14,000. You might be able to find a bargain basement price. But insurance policies significantly less than the going rate mean you’re likely to end up paying more if an accident occurs than you would with a quality commercial truck insurance policy.
Your risk is much less if you select moderately priced insurance policies from a company specializing in truck insurance plans. Selecting a specialty trucking insurance company is a good idea for several reasons. In addition to intricate knowledge of the coverage needed, if there is an accident, the trucking insurance specialist can send an insurance adjuster familiar with the type of cargo spill or loss you experienced.
How does the age of drivers affect truck insurance pricing?
Very old and very young truck drivers are more prone to accidents, according to many reports. Inexperience plays a role in the risk posed by younger truck drivers. Insurance for truck drivers in these high risk age groups will cost more than the average rate. Proper selection and training of drivers can help control trucker insurance expenses.
10 ways to save money on commercial truck insurance
Maintaining quality insurance for your trucking business isn’t an option. It’s a requirement and it’s in your best interests. The best truckers insurance isn’t cheap, but you can obtain reasonable rates by following trucking industry best practices and being knowledgeable about what’s available. Here are 10 suggestions for helping to keep your commercial trucking business insurance costs under control.
- Choose an insurance carrier that specializes in commercial trucking insurance.
- Understand the types of coverage.
- Fine tune the policies you select to suit your specific needs.
- Use the same insurance company for all your policies.
- Select drivers with care and train them well.
- Implement a maintenance program.
- Perform pre-trip vehicle inspections.
- Have a written safety policy.
- Comply with all trucking industry policies – avoid D.O.T. citations.
- Improve your credit rating.
Obtaining the right commercial truck insurance plan should be a priority for every commercial trucking enterprise, from large fleet managers to independent owner operators. From semi-truck and rig insurance to bobtail insurance, no matter your specific requirements, J.E.B. Insurance Services LLC can help. We can simplify your insurance buying process and reduce your overall cost. Contact us for a free quote, or for further assistance in choosing the best commercial insurance options for your trucking business.