Any business owner valuing the safety of his goods must see the importance of having insurance for it. For example, businesses that rely on transporting large quantities of products and operate trucks regularly should be able to know how commercial truck insurance policies protect their interest.
These should always be specifically tailored to the business’s particular needs and risks.
In this article, we’ll give you an overview of trucking insurance, its difference from personal auto insurance, why insurance for trucking services is important, what federal and state laws to take note of, the costs necessary, and how to find the appropriate insurance for your business.
Why Get the Insurance?
Aside from it being required by federal and state law, commercial truck insurance would be necessary protection for drivers and owners in situations where cargo has been misplaced or even when repair and maintenance of the trucks are needed.
In 2018, there were approximately 499,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks, according to the latest federal data.
This clearly illustrates the reality of accidents during operations that we can’t avoid, so insurance would help us face these kinds of setbacks and not lead to financial disasters.
And, although the rise in these trends indicates a harder environment for truck owners to be given insurance, there are plenty of companies that can help you with finding suitable insurance, according to your specific needs.
What is the Difference between Commercial Truck Insurance and Personal Auto Insurance?
The primary difference between commercial semi-truck insurances and personal auto insurance lies exactly in the name. Personal auto insurances are appropriate for personal use vehicles, such as traveling from home to your work and doing chores.
Commercial truck insurance, on the other hand, deals with vehicles concerned with and vital to the operation of the business.
However, even though when you use your truck mainly for personal use, the law still requires the truck to be insured since it can be heavier and more difficult to operate, as compared to lighter vehicles.
Since commercial trucks are mostly heavier than personal vehicles and are harder to operate, accidents concerning trucks have more cost. In this light, insurance policies covering your truck will have limits higher than for personal and standard use vehicles.
Other than personal and property liability coverage, both personal use vehicles and commercial trucks have comprehensive coverage that covers non-accident-related incidents, such as theft and disasters.
Still, commercial trucks have coverage exclusive to them including non-trucking insurance, which pertains to personal use of your truck such as travel during off days or non-operational hours).
You can also find a motor truck cargo insurance that covers the cost of the product you carry and transport in your truck, in case an accident occurs.
The most common truck insurance coverage offered are, but not limited to:
- Semis (semi-trailer trucks or 18-wheelers)
- Flatbed Trucks
- Dump Truck Insurance
- Tow trucks
- Tank trucks
- Container Freight Insurance
- Garbage trucks
To give you a clearer image, Title 49, Section 387 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations also enumerates the required coverage according to the combined value of the truck’s weight and cargo.
Tailor Fit Insurance for Your Business
As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of insurance for trucking services out there, but the most important thing to remember is to find the most appropriate insurance according to the particular aspects of your business.
With this decision, you take into account the nature of the business, the type of truck you use to operate, the number of trucks in your fleet, the duration, and the frequency of operations.
There are a lot of aspects of your business that can be considered for insurance. Here are some examples:
- Commercial Property Insurances (covers properties/equipment from risk of accidents)
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance (deals with employees’ benefits if suffering from work-related injury or illness)
- Cyber Insurance (protects your business’s liability for a data breach involving sensitive customer info)
Requirements for Getting Your Insurance
The requirements necessary to apply for commercial truck insurance are information that can be easily provided by business owners.
You first must have your commercial driver’s license (CDL) especially if you’re expecting to transport heavy cargo using your truck. And of course, you’ll also be required to give the details of the vehicle you’re using.
Additionally, business owners that would get insurance for their trucking services are required to file evidence to the state and federal governments that there is enough coverage on their trucks to cover both the cargo and the truck itself.
What are the expected Quotations?
Of course, anyone who would think of getting the insurance would initially think of the cost. After all, everyone would want to get the worth of the money they’ve spent.
However, there are no uniform quotations among various insurance companies, since these insurances are offered according to the special circumstance of your business.
By visiting their website or contacting their numbers, you can get a broader idea of how they compute these costs. Some factors affecting these are:
- USDOT authority
- Vehicle type
- Scope or territory of operations
- Driver’s history
What we can consider is the rule of thumb that the heavier the truck, or the more delicate its cargo is, the higher the cost.
The trick is to coordinate with the agent of your choice that could help you collect varying quotes. Once you’ve collected enough information, they can also help you decide on what’s best suited for your needs and capacities.
We can all agree that finding appropriate insurance for trucking services might be complex and confusing sometimes, especially for beginners or newly starting businesses and even for business owners who have been operating for a while as well.
Hopefully, the insights presented here were helpful to equip you in navigating through insurance and that it would become a walk in the park.
If you have any more questions about commercial truck insurance or finding the insurance policy suitable for your business, drop a comment below!