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.
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:
|$750,000||Liability Insurance (General Freight)|
|$1,000,000||Liability Insurance (Oil Transport)|
|$5,000,000||Liability Insurance (Hazmat)|
|$300,000||Liability Insurance (Household Goods)|
|$5,000 per vehicle cargo insurance||Cargo 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:
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:
|Collision||A policy that protects your truck and other vehicles in the event of a collision.|
|Comprehensive||This insurance covers damages or losses not caused by accident, such as vandalism, theft, and fire.|
|Liability||Safeguards you against financial loss stemming from a third party's bodily injury or property damage.|
|Cargo Insurance||Protects against loss due to legal liability for damage to products in your care and custody during transit.|
|Non-Trucking Coverage||This 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).|
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.
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:
Any vehicle that transports food or passengers for compensation is considered a commercial vehicle. The vehicle can be used for two types of operations:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Here are commonly asked questions related to commercial trucking insurance in Pennsylvania:
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.
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.
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:
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.