Commercial Truck Insurance
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Trucker’s Insurance 101
So let’s start with the basics of Commercial Truck Insurance. With these short and informative articles below you can get up to speed fast. Now you’re finding out there’s a lot of work to do before you even hit the road. One task you’re probably not looking forward to is buying insurance for your new truck and your new operation. As an owner-operator, you may be thinking you can just leave everything that has to do with insurance to your broker. That’s what he or she is there for, and you have more important things to worry about, right?
Everything You Need To Know About Trucking Insurance
You’ve decided to go for it. You got a loan for a new semi truck, and you’re ready to travel down your own road as an owner-operator. Congratulations! Now you’re finding out there’s a lot of work to do before you even hit the road. One task that can be daunting is buying insurance for your new truck and your new operation.
First things first, it’s helpful to understand the coverages you’ll need for your new trucking operation. Here are the common ones:
Truckers General Liability Coverage — This covers the actions of a driver who is operating on someone else’s premises, such as loading docks and truck stops, and also covers mistakes in the delivery of the driver’s load.
Primary Liability Coverage — No matter how great and careful of a driver you are, no one is immune from making mistakes. Should you physically harm someone else during the course of business, your primary liability coverage is intended to take care of the resulting medical bills.
Physical Damage Coverage — Should someone damage or steal your truck, you’ll be glad to have physical damage included in your policy, which handles the repair and replacement of your equipment.
Non-Trucking Liability Coverage — If an Owner-Operator is driving a rig for personal use and not to further the business of a Motor Carrier, the Carrier’s Liability insurance will not apply in the event of an accident. This is when Non-Trucking Use Liability would takeover.
Motor Truck Cargo Coverage — With this, you’ll be covered in the event you have a refrigeration mishap, have your cargo stolen or experience a wet load. Here, you want to make sure your insurance agent provides you with a broad form policy rather than a specified peril policy.
Trailer Interchange — Covers a non-owned trailer being used under a trailer interchange agreement.
Medical Payment — This covers medical bills if you or a passenger is injured while driving or riding in the tractor (this coverage varies from state to state).
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists — This coverage protects you if someone hits you and does not have liability coverage to repair whatever you need repaired.
Workers' Compensation — The trucking industry saw a change to its Workers’ Compensation structure this year, as the industry moved to one combined class code. Learn more about this change.
7 Question Need To Ask to Agent
All of this may seem like a lot to take in, but remember: you have a broker who is there to help you out. Just make sure you’re asking the right questions so the broker can give you the best information and assist you to the best of his or her abilities. Questions you should consider asking your broker include:
#What’s the insurance company rated? Ratings agencies, such as A.M. Best issue financial strength ratings designed to measure insurance companies’ abilities to meet their obligations to policyholders.
#Is it an unlimited policy? Unlimited policies will cover almost all hazards and losses contemplated under that particular type of insurance.
#What type of cargo form is included with the policy, broad form or specified peril?
#Is there an additional deductible you need to worry about?
#Does the company specialize in trucking, and if so, does it prefer local radius or long haul?
#Does the company have 24/7 claims reporting capabilities? As discussed earlier, the faster a claim is addressed, the better chance there is of resolving it quickly.
#Are there references available that you can see? You may be getting insurance for the first time, but there have been many other owner-operators before you who have bought coverage from every company selling it. What do they think about a company’s service, expertise, and overall value?