all you should know about commercial truck insurance

What you need to know about commercial truck insurance

For commercial truckers, days and nights on the road can be fraught with danger: accidents, spilled cargo, damaged property, for example. Commercial truck insurance can protect trucks and the truckers who drive them by helping cover the costs of many of these types of events.

If your business owns or leases vehicles, you must have commercial truck insurance.

Why you need commercial truck insurance

Commercial trucks are not covered by regular auto insurance. Instead, truckers and trucking companies must purchase insurance designed specifically for trucks. There are a number of reasons why.

It is Required by Law

By law, commercial trucks must be covered by liability insurance. So if you have a truck or an entire fleet of them, you should protect them with minimal coverage at the very least.

Accidents and other physical damage can occur

As a vehicle owner, you know that accidents happen. Commercial trucks are at risk of having an accident with personal or commercial vehicles while on the road. Whether you need to repair damage to your truck or from being in an accident with other drivers, truck insurance is essential.

Be careful with your cargo

If you drive a commercial truck, chances are you’re hauling cargo for someone else. Fortunately, your commercial truck insurance will protect your cargo if it is damaged in an accident or other event. It is necessary to specify the nature of the load. “Specific commodities” such as electronics, liquor, and clothing, for example, that require an additional premium.

Reassure your customers

If you drive trucks to make deliveries for other businesses, having commercial truck insurance gives them peace of mind. Even if they don’t require proof that you’re adequately covered, always let potential customers know that you’re insured.

Other Coverage to Consider

The insurance is flexible, so you may be able to add additional “pin” coverage to your general commercial truck insurance. You can add riders to meet the specific needs of your business, whether you’re a single trucker, have a couple of trucks, or own a sizeable fleet.

Back on the road, no load

Even if you’re not using a truck to haul cargo, non-trucking liability coverage, also called bobtail insurance, can help. Bobtail insurance is also known as non-trucking insurance. Companies can provide non-truck insurance to cover all drivers and trucks, even when they are not transporting cargo. Regular insurance will not provide this type of coverage.

Damage to non-own trailers

As the name implies, this coverage is for damage to a trailer that you do not own.

Car Not Owned and Rented

This type of insurance covers bodily injury or property damage caused by a rental vehicle that is not included in your policy.

Non-Trucking Liability

When a truck is used for personal, non-work purposes, non-truck liability coverage is available to you in the event of an accident.

Trailer Swap Coverage

When you have an Exchange Agreement between you and the sender, additional coverage is required.

Warehouse Legal Responsibility

If you own a warehouse, this insurance protects you from any legal liability due to negligence.

workers compensation

Workers’ compensation requirements vary by state, industry, and the size of your company, its structure, and payroll. Failure to comply with workers’ compensation as required can result in substantial fines and lawsuits. Find out your state’s requirements here.

Work Accident Coverage

This coverage is specifically designed for independent owner-operators and employees who are not covered by a general workers’ compensation policy.

What Commercial Truck Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Some commercial auto and truck insurance providers do not insure private commercial vehicles, including:

  • Hazardous waste carriers
  • emergency vehicles
  • driving school vehicles
  • Taxi and limousine service vehicles

What you need to establish commercial truck insurance

It’s a good idea to be prepared before applying for commercial truck insurance. You will need proof of the relevant information before the actual purchase. Requirements may vary, but will generally provide the following information:

Information about your driving record. You will need to include driver’s license numbers and basic driving records for everyone who drives your commercial trucks.

Proof of current insurance coverage. To demonstrate that you currently have coverage, please provide a copy of your commercial insurance coverage declarations page. If you do not have prior coverage, you may use a copy of your personal auto insurance page in lieu of proof of current commercial truck insurance.

VIN numbers. Gather the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of your trucks, as well as their safety and security features. List the year, make and model of each truck.

What affects the cost of insurance premiums?

As with personal vehicle insurance coverage, there are certain factors that help determine the size of your premiums. The main ones include the following:

driving records – If you or your drivers have received speeding and traffic tickets in recent years, you are considered a risk and your premiums may cost more.

Truck age, condition and safety features – These aspects of insured vehicles affect premium costs. A newer model truck in good condition and with certain security and anti-theft features may discount premiums.

Load and distances – What you are transporting and to what extent it affects the size of the premiums. Some items being shipped, such as electronics, may cost more to insure, and moving cargo beyond your own state may also cost more.

defensive driving courses – If you have employees, offering defensive driving courses can lower premiums.

Drug and alcohol testing for employees – To protect your business and possibly lower your premiums, regularly test employees for drugs and alcohol.

start today

As you can see, the ins and outs of commercial auto insurance can be confusing at times. When you decide to purchase such coverage, be sure to compare quotes. Because a variety of factors can influence your coverage—from industry to the state you or your business is in, truckers’ driving records, and more—always get quotes using the same information.

Even if you already have commercial truck insurance, it’s still a good idea to shop around once a year to make sure you have the best coverage for your situation.

About Barbara Howington

In a 40-year career that began as an editor in a university’s public affairs department, Barbara has been an instructional media writer, public relations director, marketing manager, account manager, and co-owner of a graphic design, marketing, and marketing firm. public relations. . For the past several years, she has channeled her knowledge and insight into copywriting, her favorite part of all the professional positions she has held.

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