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    Pennsylvania Commercial Trucking Insurance

    Pennsylvania Commercial Trucking Insurance

    It's no surprise that 13 out of every 1,000 jobs in Pennsylvania are in the trucking industry, given that ports and commercial hubs surround the state. Pennsylvania's transportation industry ranks third in the nation and is booming.

    With 80,000 drivers in Pennsylvania, it is not unexpected that there are numerous trucking companies there. Despite the importance of commercial trucks to your company's service delivery strategy, they subject you to liability. You require a Pennsylvania truck insurance policy that protects you from financial disasters caused by injuries, accidents, lost cargo, property damage, and other forms of claims.

    Requirements For Commercial Trucking Insurance In Pennsylvania 

    Local truck drivers and new businesses are required by Pennsylvania law to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. The quantity required depends on the type and location of the freight transported. If you never cross state lines, you must acquire a PA PUC # and carry the following minimum insurance coverage:

    $750,000Liability Insurance (General Freight)
    $1,000,000Liability Insurance (Oil Transport)
    $5,000,000Liability Insurance (Hazmat)
    $300,000Liability Insurance (Household Goods)
    $5,000 per vehicle cargo insuranceCargo Insurance (All Carriers)

    The insurance requirements for interstate truck drivers are more stringent. In addition, you must adhere to all FMCSA-recommended DOT truck insurance requirements. Federal liability limits often range from $750,000 to $1,000,000.

    Your insurance agent must submit specific paperwork to both Pennsylvania and the USDOT. Your insurance agent or company should handle these files on your behalf. These forms notify the government that you have met all semi-truck insurance requirements. They must be submitted prior to receiving authorization. Examples include:

    • The BMC-98
    • Form H
    • Form MCS-97
    • Form E

    Types Of Coverages Related To Commercial Trucking Insurance

    During the application process for trucking insurance, you will be presented with many coverage alternatives. Some coverage is required, while others can be tailored to your needs. While specific details may vary among insurers, the following coverage types are fairly standard:

    CollisionA policy that protects your truck and other vehicles in the event of a collision.
    ComprehensiveThis insurance covers damages or losses not caused by accident, such as vandalism, theft, and fire.
    LiabilitySafeguards you against financial loss stemming from a third party's bodily injury or property damage.
    Cargo InsuranceProtects against loss due to legal liability for damage to products in your care and custody during transit.
    Non-Trucking CoverageThis is for expenses not directly associated with the trucking operation. The coverage would encompass occupational accident insurance for truck drivers as well as insurance for truck drivers without cargo (i.e., the cargo has been delivered).

    Cost Of Commercial Trucking Insurance In Pennsylvania 

    In Pennsylvania, the average cost of commercial truck insurance is $14,055.

    The average premium ranges between $12,247 and $17,631.

    These rates are based on truckers with a single truck who may need cargo, liability, and physical damage insurance. Different factors affect the price, including the type of cargo transported, the driver's driving history, and the length of time in business.

    Commercial Trucking Statistics In Pennsylvania

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transformation is invested in improving mobility across the state. PennDOT says over 75% of its annual budget is dedicated to improving local highways and state and local bridges. These statistics are relevant to commercial trucking: 

    • There are 120,000 miles of highways and 32,000 bridges in Pennsylvania. PennDOT is directly responsible for 40,000 miles of those highways and 25,000 of those bridges.
    • In 2021, PennDOT and their partners improved 465 bridges and 5,637 miles of roadway.
    • Midway through 2022, PennDOT completed 122 construction contracts with private sector partners. These contracts include highway and bridge improvement projects.
    • From January to June 2022, the state saw 1,087 miles of roadway improvement. So far, 503 miles have been paved, making roadways more passable for vehicles.
    • Pennsylvania is currently working on the improvement of 2,400 state-owned bridges. This is remarkable considering there were 6,034 bridges in poor condition in 2008.

    PennDOT is also invested in improving traffic safety along state and local highways. These statistics might interest the commercial trucking industry:

    • In 2020, reported crashes were 16.6% lower than in 2019. This includes 122 heavy truck-related fatalities in 2020, slightly down from 128 reported fatalities in 2019.
    • A single vehicle hitting a fixed object, like a tree or guard rails, is the most prevalent type of crash on Pennsylvania roads based on the numbers reported in 2020.
    • Passenger vehicles were involved in 88,763 reported crashes in 2020, accounting for most of them. Heavy trucks accounted for 6,905 crashes in the same year.
    • Around 25% of crashes resulted from adverse weather and road surface conditions.
    • Tire/wheel and brake-related failures contributed to 38.2% of vehicle defect-related crashes.
    • Heavy trucks and buses were involved in 21.5% of interstate highway crashes, 8.3% of state-maintained highway crashes, 34% of turnpike crashes, and 8.6% of local road crashes in the overall crash rate based on road type.
    • Daylight crashes accounted for 61.6% of total crashes reported in 2020.
    • Speed-related driving errors resulted in 25,021 reported crashes and 415 fatal crashes.
    • There was a decline in alcohol-related crashes — from 9,380 in 2019 to 7,700 in 2020.
    • 70.2% of the total number of people involved in crashes were wearing seatbelts.
    • 50.4% of crash-related fatalities were not wearing seatbelts.
    •  Majority of heavy truck vehicle failure crashes resulted from tire and wheel failure, brake failure, power train failure, unsecured trailers, and overloaded capacity.
    • 55% of heavy truck crashes occurred on state highways not designated as interstates. 28.1% of crashes occurred on interstate highways.

    Commercial Vehicle Registration In Pennsylvania

    Any vehicle that transports food or passengers for compensation is considered a commercial vehicle. The vehicle can be used for two types of operations:

    • Interstate operations: Applicants must operate in Pennsylvania and at least one other state or jurisdiction. Commercial vehicles that operate interstate are issued an “apportioned” registration plate
    • Intrastate operations: Applicants must only conduct point-to-point operations within the state. Commercial vehicles are typically issued the following “Bus,” “Limousine,” “Taxi,” or “Truck” registration plates

    Applicants can get an apportioned registration plate after meeting the registration requirements for either interstate or intrastate operations. Non-apportioned commercial vehicles are allowed to operate in other jurisdictions, given that they have a temporary permit from the said jurisdictions.

    Trucking companies with at least 15 commercial vehicles may establish a fleet account. This way, all fleet vehicles share the same registration expiration date, making it easier to track.

    Apportioned Registration Program

    Pennsylvania is part of the International Registration Plan (IRP), an agreement among jurisdictions in Canada and the United States for apportioned vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds and that travel between two or more member jurisdictions for commercial purposes. 

    These are the other requirements for vehicles that may be apportioned:

    • Commercial vehicle with a registered weight of over 26,000 pounds
    • Commercial vehicle with at least three axles, regardless of its registered weight
    • Combined vehicles with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds

    Two-axle vehicles with a registered weight of 26,000 pounds or less may be apportioned. However, this is optional for registrants.

    IRP aims to promote the full use of North American highway systems for the social and economic growth and development of all member jurisdictions. Although registration fees are distributed among the jurisdictions where your commercial vehicles travel, each fleet vehicle is only issued one registration plate and cab card.

    Fleet Registration System

    The Pennsylvania Fleet System was established for non-apportioned vehicles that operate within the state. These commercial vehicles may operate outside Pennsylvania as long as they have additional or temporary permits. However, if these vehicles will be used for frequent interstate travel, commercial fleet owners might consider the option of apportioned registration instead.

    Applicants must have a fleet of 15 or more commercial vehicles, except for buses, emergency vehicles, limousines, and taxis, before they can register under the Fleet System.

    The Fleet System consolidates registration and registration renewals of multiple commercial vehicles for the convenience of fleet owners and operators. It will only require one invoice rather than individual renewal applications for all vehicles registered in the same fleet.

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    Here are commonly asked questions related to commercial trucking insurance in Pennsylvania:

    What is included in general liability coverage for truckers?

    General liability coverage includes the most common trucking risks in Pennsylvania, including customer injuries and damage to customer property. Nevertheless, it is best to have a conversation with your insurance agent to discuss the full extent of the coverage.

    What kind of insurance do you need to haul in Pennsylvania?

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires commercial grade liability coverage for professional car haulers. That’s at least $1 million worth of coverage. Otherwise, the slightest setback could have costly consequences.

    Are Pennsylvania truck drivers required to have business insurance?

    Commercial auto insurance is a legal requirement for truck drivers. Meanwhile, business insurance is not. However, it is strongly recommended because it helps protect trucking companies from financial losses due to claims and lawsuits. 

    Here is a list of the most common types of business insurance coverage for trucking companies:

    • Primary Auto Liability (required by federal regulations)
    • General Liability (required by state regulations)
    • Physical Damage Coverage
    • Bobtail or Non-Trucking Liability
    • Motor Truck Cargo
    • Rental Reimbursement
    • Trailer Interchange Coverage
    • Medical Payment Coverage
    • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

    Other Insurance Types

    Your agent can assist you in selecting the appropriate liability coverage to ensure compliance with federal and state laws. They may also suggest additional coverage according to the nature of your trucking operation.

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    Assured Standard will protect your business with the right insurance, depending on your needs. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to have the right general liability insurance experts on your side. Protecting the future of your business starts today.
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