What Every Truck Operator Needs to Know About Truck Insurance

While it’s important to be optimistic when it comes to your day to day operations, it surely doesn’t hurt to be prepared for undesirable outcomes so you can better protect your interests.

What remains to be true for most businesses is the need for coverage. It’s the best way to financially secure your assets after all. In this regard, the rule remains for the trucking industry; arguably even more so. 

Basics

With trucks, you’ve got a lot to gain but a lot to lose as well. 

One thing this pandemic showed us is how much of a necessity these trucking businesses are. The capacity to haul large amounts of goods can prove profitable over time thanks to those trucks. 

You’ll want to make sure these trucks are financially backed, then. The alternative is looking at a loss in a big bulk of your income due to the breakdown of even just one truck. You can see why the average auto insurance can’t be applied here. 

Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) might have something to say about that as well. For example, shipping goods such as automobiles and motorcycles will require proof that you’re covered for that kind of responsibility.

Ready with the trucks, you might be raring to start your business. Before getting started, you’ve got to make sure that your primary asset is securely covered by a credible provider. 

You can expect this to get a little costly. But before you let the prices shock you, bear in mind that a few things about your company might make that price better, or worse. 

Operations

You have to understand that the insurance provider has to be able to give you sensible prices. With that said, don’t be surprised if they start asking for your information. While you have the chance, it’s best to do a check on your operations.

The following will have some sort of impact on the end-price that the insurance provider will offer you. Addressing any problems in their directions can alleviate any worry you may have later on. 

  • Type of Goods

The kind of goods that you’ll be delivering be taken into account. In fact, you might have to get pretty specific when it comes to the goods that you’ll be shipping. 

In this regard, it’s best to look for a provider with some experience working with that type of item. 

For example, perishable goods will definitely be seen as a higher risk. This will be further affected by the type, say, beef vs. fish. More specialized items, such as medical equipment, will be even more high-risk. 

On the other hand, non-perishable goods carry their own set of risks. While the risk may not be time-bound, the items themselves might be sensitive to certain environmental conditions.

For example, some might be sensitive to heat and humidity, further complicating the problem. The bottom line here is to make sure that any potential problems are addressed. 

Making use of specialized trucks, for example, helps lessen any potential risks. That makes them worth the investment in the long run. This brings us to our next point. 

  • Types of Trucks

Obviously, the kind of truck you use has to be appropriate for the kind of goods you ship. The insurance provider you choose will want to make sure of this too. 

This one should be easy to address assuming you’ve done your research prior to purchasing trucks. If you haven’t yet, make sure you know all about the truck you intend to choose.

Using the previous example, if you’ll be shipping perishable goods such as fish, you’ll want to prioritize refrigerated trailers to make sure your goods don’t spoil due to unforeseen traffic. 

What can be argued as more important is the feedback from other users. Try to search online to see what other trucking companies have found to be reliable. Alternatively, you can try looking for manufacturers notorious for bad quality. 

We can’t stress this enough. The research you put into this portion will only benefit you. 

  • Driver’s Record

The driving record of your employees will also be taken into account. Think about it. If the insurance company is trying to balance risks and coverage, they’ll want to see what kind of driver is sitting behind the wheel. 

This is one of the reasons why insurance providers hire people who specialize in math. Using those records, they can provide the statistics on how likely your trucks will get damaged in a collision. 

Admittedly, this one might be a little harder to address. You’ll have to be strict when hiring new employees. Getting a copy of their driving record is the surest way of knowing how safely they behave on the road. 

The challenges here lie with how well you can trust an individual. You might even have to check if they’re being perfectly honest with you regarding their record. 

On your part, make sure you check on the drivers regularly to see if they’re getting enough rest between trips. After all, no one is capable of driving 100% when they’re burned out. 

  • Location of Lot

The location and facilities of your lot will factor in due to its effect on the condition of your trucks. If you think about it, these will be where the trucks are parked when not in use. 

Because of that, the environment in the area will have an impact on the state of your trucks over time. For example, an exposed lot will have different conditions from an enclosed parking space. 

In this regard, trying to alleviate any insurance costs will only do you good. Investing in a proper storage area for unused trucks will help you maintain them for much longer after all.

Additionally, the facilities present in your lot will also factor in. The maintenance capacity of your operations helps retain the quality of your trucks for a much longer period of time, right? Add to that a capable crew and you should be assured better conditions. 

  • Distance Travelled

Lastly, the distances your trucks will be traveling regularly. These routes and their conditions will be factored in by the insurance provider to see how much punishment these trucks will be experiencing. 

Longer routes will mean more risks. Conversely, shorter routes can at least guarantee a longer operational period for the trucks. 

Of course, there will be other considerations here. Because of that, you can expect the insurance provider to calculate for odd risks. 

You’ll want to be honest here. Different insurance providers will have different takes on the issue after all. If you’re honest, they can at least judge as objectively as they can once they know all the details. 

Choosing an Insurance Provider

Now, assuming you’ve done your part, the rest will be up to the insurance provider you end up with. Luckily, there will be a few general areas where you can judge whether the insurance provider is the right fit for your business. 

  • Expertise

The reason for this should be easy to understand. Not all insurance policies are made the same after all. This goes for the providers as well. 

If possible, try to learn more about the insurance provider’s history before anything. How easy it might be to make any claims, the kind of customer service they offer. All these should be taken into account. 

Additionally, try to learn more about the company’s reputation with trucking companies similar to yours. This way, you know what to expect when dealing with the insurance provider. 

  • Cost 

No expense is ever really enjoyable, right? With that said, the necessity of it should at least make it a little easier. For commercial truck insurance expenses, the business owner can expect to spend up to $7000 per year in premiums. 

Of course, there will be cheaper options available. Keep in mind though that the coverage of these cheaper options may not be as versatile or far-reaching as the pricier ones. 

In that respect, it’s pretty much a balance between cost and coverage. Don’t forget though that restricting the budget here will leave you open to more risks. Investing now can mean better benefits in the long run.

  • Types of Coverage 

Lastly, the kind of coverage that your trucking business needs should also be available. If possible, don’t opt for a General Coverage type. Try to look into the details to see what each policy can offer you and your business.

For example, here are a few types of coverage you can opt to get for your trucking business.

  • Trucker General Liability Coverage
  • Primary Liability Coverage
  • Motor Truck Cargo Coverage
  • Medical Payment

These varied coverages will cover a proportionally diverse range of components of the business. From damages to others to damages to you, each instance would do better if covered by your insurance policy. 

At the end of the day, the key is to do your research. Being diligent with your preparation leaves less room for those costly mistakes. Insurance itself is expensive enough, right? You can find more details over on AssuredStandard.com to learn more about commercial truck insurance. 

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