Owner operator truck insuranceshould be a necessity for operating a trucking business. Since you’re likely working as a one-man team, you need to make sure you have the best insurance policy to provide good insurance coverage.
This is especially true when operating a long-haul operator truck fleet. Policies for this usually include medical payments, non-trucking coverage, and physical damage coverage. Some are more specific, such as bobtail liability coverage or equipment coverage.
Other related insurance products may also come into play as we will see.
The Types of Coverage You Can Get for Your Long-Haul Trucks
There are various types of coverage you can get for your long-haul truck.
- Auto Liability Coverage –Covers costs relating to the other driver’s bodily injuries and property damage if you’re found liable for the ensuing motor accident. In some cases, it may even cover loss of fees and wages if the other party presses that claim.
- Physical Damage Coverage – Covers costs relating to comprehensive insurance and collision insurance. Coverage options include damages caused by fire and theft.
- Freight Coverage – A policy that insures operator cargo for a total or partial value. It acts as an exclusive policy for the use of the shipper and their equipment, which can only be availed via their claims.
- Occupational Accident Coverage – This policy provides money to employees and independent contractors killed or injured by a job-related incident. It can cover death benefits, medical expenses, and lost wages.
- Non-Trucking Liability Coverage – Insurance that covers you during the period of time you utilize your trucking vehicle for matters not related to the business. It also covers bodily injury and property damage incurred during this time.
- General Liability Coverage – Addresses general claims for property damage and bodily injuries resulting from your operations, services, or products. Can be used to cover medical expenses and property damage, however, it does not extend to employee injuries or auto accidents.
- Trailer Interchange Coverage – Covers for physical damage insurance specifically for trailers that are being pulled within a trailer interchange agreement. Comes into effect if the damage is incurred as a result of explosion, vandalism, fire, collision, or theft.
The Costs of Getting Long-Haul Trucker Insurance
Several factors contribute to affecting the cost of long-haul trucking insurance. There are two categories that they fall into and have been classified under.
Most insurance companies go through a checklist to take into account factors that will determine long haul trucking premiums for the trucking company they are examining. These factors include:
- The type of cargo the company transports for the trucking industry.
- The number of trucks the company owns and operates.
- Whether or not the company owns the trailers it is currently using.
- The age of the transport trucks the company is making use of.
- How many miles the company’s drivers have put in during company time.
- The driving record of all drivers working under the company.
When putting forward valid applications for long haul owner operator truck insurance, the applying business has to abide by the requested documents. Here are some of the ones outlined:
- Claims or losses within the past three years.
- Driver information such as past CDL(Commercial Driver’s License) experience.
- A completed application from one of the truckers.
- International Fuel Tax Agreement License (this may be optional)
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I don't have owner operator insurance?
If you lack owner operator truck insurance you would be technically in violation of the law. Assuming you’re even able to keep your operator truck without getting caught, you’re one accident away from disaster.
Your costs will balloon from the sued damages to property and personal injury and even continuous loss of salary. Not only will you be jailed and fined for lack of operator truck insurance, you can also be sued further for it.
What should I look for in an insurance company?
Try to keep two things in mind:
- Find trucking insurance coverage that can be customized according to your needs. Some policies and regulations may change depending on the state you work in and become potentially disadvantageous.
- Consider the insurance company’s rating before you buy into it. Utilizing a company with a significant rating for reliability and financial stability will mean less things to worry about, especially for owner-operators like yourself.
How does owner operator truck insurance different from commercial truck insurance?
Owner operator truck insurance acts as a subset for commercial truck insurance. You as the owner-operator who manages their own semi-truck are required by federal law to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverages.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA)
The FMSCA is a separate government authority from the Department of Transportation. Its mission is aimed at reducing crashes and injuries that involve buses and large trucks. Its website also provides information on current rules and regulations.
US Department of Transportation
The DOT website has a separate section for Trucking and MotorCoaches. These can provide tips and other detailed research regarding road safety practices.
American Trucking Association
The ATA is the largest national trade organization that advocates for the local trucking industry. It has the power to carry out arbitrations between customer and company when loss or damage is incurred.
Protecting Your Long-Haul Trucker Fleet
There are a number of tried-and-true strategies for keeping your long-haul trucker protected that might just work for you. These include:
- Preventive Maintenance – Working out a schedule for preventive maintenance should be at the top of the list. Something as simple as a brake pad and oil changes can make all the difference.
- Realtime GPS Tracking Software – Keeping track of your road progress is important in case of an accident or even shipment delay. Having a team on standby to help you navigate can mean all the difference.
- Pre-trip and Post-trip inspections – Since the DOT already requires it, there’s no loss in making the process more thorough. Make an accurate record and documentation of your long haul trucker with each inspection. Take pictures and video when possible.
When purchasing owner operator truck insurance for your long-haul trucker, you need to find the best fit for your needs. Some liability coverages may seem extraneous and aimed for the most unlikely incidents, but insurance is all about preparing for the worst-case scenario.
Prioritizing your long hauler and personal safety even during non-business hours is important. Prevention and insurance are two of your best allies on the road.
Get protection for your long-haul fleet and find the best insurance with Assured Standard. Contact Assured Standard today!