Trucking companies have a lot to consider when it comes to insurance. Commercial truck coverage is far more expensive than standard car insurance. The average cost of a single semi-truck insurance policy can cost between $5,000 to over $10,000 a year.
If you own an entire fleet, the cost of insuring each vehicle can easily become one of your business’s largest expenses. As you explore your coverage options, there are five things to keep in mind about commercial trucking insurance.
#1 Drivers Need Their Own Coverage
Although companies provide primary liability for hired drivers, there is typically a gap in insurance that needs to be covered. Every for-hire driver should have their own non-trucking liability insurance (NTL) and medical expense coverage. Enforcing these coverages for all your drivers can ensure that you’ll sustain fewer losses in the event of an accident.
Without NTL coverage, you will be the one left paying for repairs or even total replacements if a truck is damaged when it’s being driven for non-work purposes. When a driver has their own medical insurance, you can avoid being sued for liability or having to pay even more money than necessary after a collision if an injury were to occur to them or a passenger.
#2 It Pays to Add Optional Policies
Optional policies like physical damage insurance can make a world of difference after an accident. While you shouldn’t pay more just for the sake of having every coverage on a policy, it pays to consider all the hazards your operation faces. Invest in your business’s highest risks which often include trailer interchange insurance, physical damage policies, and motor carrier insurance. Each can save your business from financial ruin in more severe claim scenarios.
#3 A Strict Hiring Process Can Lower Your Insurance Rates
Hire drivers who are an asset to your business and pose the lowest risk to your insurance. All drivers should have a good CSA score, at least one year’s experience with no accidents, and be able to pass a physical health and wellness examination.
Skilled, healthy drivers pose the lowest risk to your fleet and business, not to mention everyone else on the road. If you want to save on coverage and minimize losses, then your drivers are one of the most important factors to look at.
#4 Niche Hauls Cost More
The insurance requirements for general freight transport and specialty hauls differ greatly. The minimum commercial insurance requirement is $750,000, but hazmat trucks, garbage trucks, auto carriers, and similar specialty hauls can have minimum requirements that reach up to $5 million.
Different types of trucking also have additional policy requirements. Your FMCSA insurance filing status will influence what type of policies you need, and your minimum coverage amounts.
#5 State Limits Count, Too
Truckers in every state must meet the FMCSA standards, but there are also state liability requirements to consider. If you only transport cargo within your state, then the cost of insurance may be less. But if you carry cargo across the country, you will have to submit state filings and make sure that every driver is up to each state’s standards.
All drivers will need certificates of insurance (COIs) when traveling across state lines. The type of cargo they’re transporting may also influence the minimum insurance requirements in different states. Before hauling any load into a new state, check with the laws applicable to your rig and load.
Get the Right Coverage
Interstate or intrastate, one rig or a fleet, take the time to learn about the exposures your operation faces and the available insurance options available. Work with an insurance broker specializing in the trucking industry. They can help you navigate the myriad of insurance companies, policy forms, and options to help you find the best coverage at the most affordable premium.
If you’re looking to work with someone that can provide you with competitive options and specialize in trucking insurance, check out the guys at Truck Insurance Pros. Truck Insurance Pros has been in the insurance business since 1947. They’ve got the experience and know how you’ve come to expect and depend on.