For small trucking companies, shopping for the right commercial truck insurance while trying to keep up with all of the other responsibilities of trucking and business ownership can seem daunting.
Keeping insurance costs low while protecting the business from the liabilities of commercial trucking is important — which makes selecting the most affordable insurance policies crucial. Here’s how to get the best rates possible for owner operator insurance in Tennessee.
Don’t Get Commercial Truck Insurance Through Your Truck Dealership
The dealership where you purchase your truck will likely offer you a commercial truck insurance policy at the time of sale. While this option seems the easiest, it’s usually more expensive in Tennessee. Owner operators are well served by shopping for their own commercial truck insurance policy from a reputable insurer that is not affiliated with the dealership or the manufacturer. Insurance companies selling through dealerships or manufacturers depend on owners not taking the time to shop for better rates, meaning you’ll pay more for the same coverage, and not just in Tennessee.
Compare Rates Among Insurers
Shop around for rates. There are numerous insurers offering owner operator insurance in Tennessee, so look for one that can offer you all the coverage you need at the best value. Just remember — the lowest price and the best value aren’t always the same. Don’t settle for poor customer service or inferior trucking coverage just to pay less for the policy. If you plan to expand the business, be sure to ask if you qualify for a discount when you increase coverage from a singe commercial truck to a fleet.
Find an Insurer That Specializes in Commercial Vehicles
Many companies offer policies for owner operator insurance in Tennessee as a side business — while their primary specialty is private vehicle insurance. Instead, look for a Tennessee insurer that specializes in insuring commercial trucks and vehicles. These insurers are more up to date in terms of current insurance laws governing commercial truck insurance within Tennessee, and can help you get coverage that meets the current DOT requirements. Also, an insurer that focuses on commercial trucks will know when the laws change and offer policies to reflect the latest regulations.
Maintain a Good Driving and Truck Maintenance Record
Perhaps the best thing you can do to keep the rates of your owner operator commercial truck insurance in Tennessee affordable is to keep the truck well maintained and have a clean driving record. Large truck fleets can get group rates, which helps them keep costs low even if there are a few tickets within their pool of drivers. Owner operators, however, cannot defray these costs across a large fleet — a poor driving record falls on their shoulders alone. Regular vehicle maintenance is a good way to keep those tickets off your MVR so that you can qualify for the lowest rates available with your insurer.