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    Property Damage: Commercial Trucking Insurance

    Primary liability insurance provides coverages for damages or injuries to another property or person if you are at fault for an accident. It has two components that must always come together: Bodily Injury Liability Insurance and Property Damage Insurance.

    Property Damage: Commercial Trucking Insurance

    The Bodily Injury (BI) portion of your auto liability insurance will cover expenses if you cause an accident that injures or kills another person. BI covers expenses for medical and hospital bills, long-term care, rehabilitation, funeral, and more.

    On the other hand, the Property Damage (PD) portion will cover any damage you cause to another person's property. PD covers expenses for repairs and replacement of damaged items for properties like another vehicle, houses, lamp posts, and even pets.

    As part of your trucking insurance policy, the property or physical damage coverage will also take care of expenses for legal defense related to any claim against the covered damages.

    Common Issues Commercial Truck Fleets Face

    Mainly composed of small to medium-sized businesses, the trucking industry is one of the biggest industries in the United States. However, while it moves goods worth millions of dollars each year, trucking company owners face many challenges.

    1. Driver Shortage

    According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the trucking industry is experiencing a shortage of about 30,000 to 35,000 drivers. One of the main causes of this problem is that long-haul trucking jobs receive considerably lower pay.

    Aside from that, federal regulations also require drivers to be at least 21 years old and carry a specific type of license for this job. This regulation results in a three-year gap between high school graduation, which loses potential drivers away into other jobs.

    2. Changing Trucking Regulations

    The trucking industry is bound by laws and regulations that are constantly reviewed and revised. On top of that, each has its own set of rules and regulations. Having to comply with the books to an ever-changing set of rules makes management more difficult.

    3. Deteriorating Infrastructure

    It's no secret that the United States direly needs to improve its roads and bridges. The most recent infrastructure report card gave the country's roads a D rating while the bridges got a C plus.

    The report also indicated that these poor road conditions caused 6.9 billion hours of traffic jams in a year and billions of gallons of fuel. And because trucking jobs are based on distance, delays caused by those traffic jams have been very costly for trucking companies.

    4. Safety Concerns

    There’s no shortage of unforeseeable risks and issues while you're on the road. It is difficult to prepare for the unknown, but preparation is crucial for trucking businesses to make the grade. Some trucking safety concerns include:

    • Inclement Weather
    • Fatigue
    • Distractions

    The Benefits of Liability Insurance for Your Fleet

    Property Damage: Commercial Trucking Insurance

    Having liability insurance can protect your business and its employees from a myriad of situations.

    • It can provide protection in case a driver is at fault in an accident.
    • It can help avoid potential lawsuits and financial burdens.
    • It can protect employees by providing for their medical bills, medication expenses, and even long-term care.

    Overall, getting liability insurance will help you protect your company's reputation. It is a smart and responsible way to accept and manage the risks that come with the industry you are in.

    Factors to Consider When Choosing Commercial Trucking Insurance

    Here are a few tips and factors you need to consider to ensure that you select the right trucking insurance:

    Know What Kind of Coverage You’ll Have 

    The first thing you should remember is that insurance companies operate differently. Your agent must clearly explain what kind of coverage you'll have. Here are some common types of coverage:

    • Bodily Injury & Property damage liability
    • Comprehensive & Collision coverage
    • Non-owned or Hired Auto coverage
    • Towing and labor costs
    • Loading and unloading liability
    • Medical payments

    Your agent must know the overall nature of your business, your current state, and where you'd want it to be in the future. You must be completely open and honest and allow your agent to know about you and your company. Study their proposals very well and make sure that their offer matches your needs.

    Explore Your Payment Options 

    An insurance company usually offers four modes of payment: monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual. Make sure you choose one that works well with your company finances.

    Determine How Much Liability Coverage You Need 

    This part is where you tell your agent about how your business operates. Knowing you have enough liability coverage will give you peace of mind that you are covered in case you will need to file a claim.

    Know Your Limits For General Liability

    Make sure you know these two types of limits: Occurrence and Aggregate.

    The occurrence limit is the amount you need to pay for a single claim while the Aggregate limit is the full amount available for you to claim within the year.

    Knowing these limits will help you decide if you should file a claim for an incident, pay the damages out-of-pocket, or look for an alternative so you don't put your coverage at risk.

    Know How the Claims Coverage Works

    After an accident, you'd want to get back to business as soon as possible. This is why even before you get insurance, you should know how to file a claim the right way and what requirements you'll need to prepare so your claim gets accepted.

    Don't hesitate to ask your insurance agent for help—they should be able to answer your questions and assist you whenever needed. Some insurance companies even allow their clients to file claims online or through a phone app.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What happens if I don't have physical damage insurance?

    If your party is found at fault in an accident, you could be facing serious costs.

    A totaled car will cost you $25,000 at the minimum. Even repairs for small dents cost thousands of dollars. If you don't have physical damage insurance, you will be paying for all of these costs.

    What is the process of filing a property damage claim?

    Step one is to always contact the police. Once you've been in an accident or your property has been damaged, immediately file a report to create an official record. The police report will also determine if your party is at fault.

    Don't forget to take as many photos as you can and document the incident to supplement whatever information the police gathers. More information means more chances to have your claim approved.

    Then, call your agent or your insurance company to proceed with the requirements of filing a claim.

    How much does property damage liability cost?

    Insurance costs vary greatly depending on a lot of factors. The first step to get an estimate of how much you will need to prepare for premiums is to check out the websites of insurance companies and request a quote.

    You can also meet with an insurance agent to make sure that the quote they give will include all coverage requirements you need from your end.

    Additional Resources

    American Trucking Associations

    The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is an 86-year old federation with state trucking association affiliates in all 50 states. ATA is the largest and most comprehensive national trade association for the trucking industry.

    Automotive Fleet

    Automotive Fleet is a trade publication for professionals who manage commercial fleets of 50 vehicles and above. It publishes fleet management news, info, tips, articles, and networking information.

    Protecting Your Fleet Against Property Damage

    If you are looking for the best company that provides property damage insurance coverage, let Assured Standard help you find the one for your business! Contact Assured Standard today!

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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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