Trucking Insurance

Truck insurance is not only a legal requirement but also a necessity for any commercial trucking company.

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A guide to truck insurance

Why do you need truck insurance

Trucking industry is a risky one. Each day trucking companies have to face risks of accidents, during the long hauls across the country. And this is precisely why the insurance is so important in this sector. It provides the much-needed coverage for commercial trucking companies to protect themselves from bankruptcy.

However, the truck insurance is not only legally required, but is a must-have for any commercial trucking company out there. Without the insurance coverage, a commercial trucking company will be considered liable after an accident which may result in the loss of business, if the situation escalates. Insurance helps the business owners to evade this grim fate.

What kind of insurance is required for a commercial trucking company

In the core of commercial trucking insurance required for trucking companies lies liability insurance. This insurance protects its holder against damages or injuries that his company’s dealt to others with their trucks. It is a requirement for all the trucking businesses in the US to have it. If the worst happens, it will be used to pay for medical treatment, property damage and even legal fees, if this case will be taken to court.
Each state requires its own minimum amount of liability insurance for a commercial trucking company. The type of cargo also plays a role in determining it. But there is a certain minimum limit set up by FMCSA – $750.00 in liability coverage for most commercial trucks. But keep in mind that this amount can be higher in certain states.

What other kinds of commercial truck insurance are available

But the liability insurance is not the only type of insurance out there. Many of the other ones are being as vital as this one. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Physical damage insurance: This type of insurance covers the damage to your trucks, like collision or theft and vandalism damages.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: This one gives coverage for your workers in case they were injured while working. It pays for medical bills and the wages they lost due to their inability to work.
  • Cargo insurance: It is important for commercial trucking companies that transport valuable or sensitive cargo. It helps you in the case you’ve damaged or lost this cargo, because it covers the cost of replacing it. Without it, a trucking commercial company will have to pay for the damages to the shipper from their own pocket.
  • Physical damage insurance: This insurance is needed for those who use their own trucks for transportation. It pays for the damages to the truck itself, covering the cost of repairs or the replacement of the vehicle in the worst-case scenario of truck’s destruction.
  • Umbrella Insurance: This is for those who want that tiny bit of extra protection, as it provides additional liability coverage beyond the usual policy limits. You need this if you feel like you can be targeted by expensive lawsuits. So, take umbrella insurance if you think that your company will benefit from the additional protection for its assets.

How to reduce your truck insurance costs

Giving insurance to your trucks is of course a necessary expense for any commercial trucking company. However, this expense can be really high, as insurance premiums tend to add up, especially for those rocking a huge fleet of trucks or transporting valuable goods. However, there are still ways to lower these insurance costs without lowering the quality of protection.

Here are some tips that will help you to lower your insurance costs:

  • Work on your safety record: Insurance companies tend to like companies with a good safety record, and they often give them discounts. The better you have it – the lower your insurance rates will be. To do that – implement safety programs, do regular vehicle checks and hire experienced drivers with good safety records.
  • Increase deductibles: A deductible is the amount of money you pay when filing a claim. Making it bigger is a great way of lowering your premiums. But keep in mind that the higher it is – the more you’ll have to pay in case of an accident.
  • Look for cheaper alternative: Sticking to one insurance company is not a valid plan. Look around for other companies with better rates. Some of them may specialize in truck insurance and give you better prices than their less specialized colleagues.
  • Bundle your insurance policies: Bundled policies often come with discounts. For example, liability and physical damage coverages.
  • Make a regular check-up of coverage: Making a regular review of your insurance coverage helps a lot with keeping it useful and affordable. If you see that some of the policies are no longer applicable or needed – get rid of them, and save your money for something more useful.
  • Invest in driver training: The more experience your drivers have – the lower is the rate of accidents, and the better your safety score is. And do you remember what we said about the benefits of a high safety score? So, investing in some training programs for your crew is a wise decision.

How to choose a good truck insurance company

If you don’t want to spend all your money on insurance and really make it useful – do your best to find a good insurance company. This goes a long way towards making your commercial trucking business succeed. Not only will it help to protect your employees and assets, but will also lower the risks. But there are many such companies out there, so it can be hard to choose. Here are some tips on finding a good insurance provider:

  • Experience: Pay special attention to the insurance providers with an experience in the trucking sphere. They will have a better understanding of your problems and risks associated with your work. There is also a higher chance of your claims actually being approved. Besides, you will get only the policies you actually need for your work.
  • Reputation: It’s important to know if other trucking companies trust the insurance company. Look for good reviews and ratings. A reliable company will handle claims well and keep customers happy.
  • Coverage: Make sure the insurance covers everything your business needs. You must have liability insurance, and depending on your business, you might also need cargo, damage, or workers’ insurance.
  • Claims: You want an insurance company that processes claims quickly and fairly. Check their track record to see if they’re good at this.
  • Price: Compare prices, but don’t just go for the cheapest option. Sometimes cheap insurance might not cover everything you need.
  • Financial stability: It’s crucial to pick an insurance company that has enough money to pay claims if something goes wrong.
  • Service and support: Choose a company that’s easy to reach and helps you understand your insurance. Good service means they answer your questions and support you when you need it.

What are the minimum commercial insurance limits?

The main thing you need to keep in mind when dealing with insurance in the US are the numerous commercial insurance limits, which heavily depend on the type of coverage and your state of operations. Here are some of the most common limits for commercial insurance coverage:

  • Liability insurance:
    This type of insurance is usually required to be had in most states. The minimal limit varies from $750,000 for non-hazardous materials and $1,000,000 for hazardous materials. Although this year, the state of New Jersey adopted the law making the minimum liability requirement $1,500,000.
  • Physical damage coverage:
    Although physical damage coverage is not required by law, you still need it to protect your trucks from the numerous damages that can be caused to them. The limit is often determined by the vehicle’s value.
  • Cargo insurance:
    It never hurts to protect the goods you are hauling, especially if you work with valuable cargo. In this case,the minimum insurance limit is around $100,000.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: 
    Most states require you to have it, in order to pay for the injuries your employees may suffer while working. They also dictate the minimum limits.

Keep in mind that these limits are the bare minimum you need to have to be compliant with the law, but when real problems arise, you will be risking your money more. Try to find an experienced insurance agent who will help you to determine the right amount.

What is commercial fleet insurance?

Fleet insurance is an extremely useful type of insurance for those companies, that went beyond the limits of owning one or two trucks. Instead of taking a separate insurance for each vehicle, they can use fleet insurance to protect their entire fleet under one policy.
This type of insurance usually unites all the major separate types of insurance, protecting your trucks from physical damage, theft and also providing liability coverage. So, you can expect to be protected as much as with the usual package of policies, but at a lower price. It also can provide you with roadside assistance coverage and other services that may help your vehicles on the road.
One of the main benefits of fleet insurance is its cost-effectiveness, as they often come with discounts, scaling based on the number of vehicles in your fleet.

Photo Truck insurance

Another benefit the fleet insurance brings to the table is the simplicity it brings to the insurance process fortrucking companies. Instead of losing your dear time trying to deal with the intricacies of insurance for each vehicle, you can deal with only one policy for your entire fleet.
To put it simple – fleet insurance is a must-have if you plan to work with more than one truck and want to have any money after this expansion.

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