No matter how experienced you are as a driver or owner operator, the road is an unpredictable and dangerous place. Truck-specific coverages and insurance policies are a must, given the increasing number of fatalities and accidents on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has uncovered startling statistics regarding trucking accidents.
Accidents for a semi-truck may amount to $20 billion annually, due to settlements—particularly for injured parties. According to the FMCSA, 4,761 individuals were killed in crashes where large trucks were involved in 2017. A shocking 3,289 of these saw the involvement of combination trucks and tractor-trailers.
Commercial truck insurance is a type of business insurance that can help you stay safe on the road—or help you navigate the aftermath of any potential accident. There are a number of different truck-specific coverages out there, depending on the nature of your business vehicle or the kind of service your company offers.
While some policies are required by law, each one of the additional coverages has specific benefits that could work for you – whether you are an owner-operator or have employees driving your vehicles.
Knowing the ins and outs of commercial truck insurance can prepare you for the worst that could happen. There are actually several different types of commercial truck insurance offered by companies today, and understanding the differences among each one will help you make sure that your commercial truck has sufficient liability coverage.
These coverage options encompass things such as the loss of cargo, medical expenses, bodily harm, large-scale accidents, property destruction, and other serious occurrences that can have an adverse impact on your business operations. Trucking insurance can take care of financial burdens that may arise from such events.
Federal regulations necessitate primary auto liability truck insurance, but laws differ in their minimums in each of the fifty states. Primary liability insurance is basic car insurance, as any driver of a vehicle needs it. It will cover property damage and bodily injury liability on affected parties if these occur while you are driving the vehicle.
Coverage for property damage includes vehicles, homes, lamp posts, and the like, together with potential legal fees in case you are sued. On the other hand, coverage for bodily injuries encompasses rehabilitation expenses, medical bills, funeral costs, and other related expenses that arise. Depending on your policy and state, limits can change and be selected.
Also mandated by states, general liability insurance covers third-party property destruction and bodily injuries. This commercial truck insurance can also offer you the funds to cover medical and legal fees, together with lawsuits surrounding false advertising, libel, or slander.
Physical damage insurance is a policy that encompasses any accident related to a collision, theft, fire, vandalism, and natural disasters. While it can offer assistance in paying for repairs from these occurrences, it can also replace the truck altogether if it is already beyond repair.
Motor truck cargo insurance may offer protection for loss of or destruction to cargo, for reasons such as collisions, fires, and other accidents. This policy protects a commercial truck driver's liability for these commodities or freights. It is typically advised for for-hire trucking services, with vehicles such as box trucks, cement mixers, car haulers, tractors, trailers, or dump trucks.
In the event that you are driving a truck that is under another person's trucking authority without a trailer, bobtail insurance can cover this. Alternatively, if your trucker liability insurance or motor carrier insurance solely offers protection when you are hauling a trailer or are under dispatch, this could come in handy.
Although physical damage is not factored into its coverage, bobtail insurance can still absorb costs for medical bills, legal fees, and settlements in case of other accidents that occur while on the road.
Supplemental towing and cleanup can provide you with additional coverage for the towing of a truck and the resulting cleanup of debris, pollutants, and other remnants on the areas that an accident has occurred. This frequently works together with motor truck cargo coverage.
Do you want to learn more about truck-specific coverages? Have a look at some of our frequently asked questions on truck insurance.
The type of coverage that you need depends on the type of business you have, the vehicles you drive, the cargo you carry, your driving record, and many other factors. Consult with an agent about what truck insurance policy – or policies – will give you enough coverage to go about your daily operations knowing that you will be protected in the best possible way.
Costs for commercial truck insurance options depend on a host of different factors. You can get an insurance quote from different insurance companies to get a feel of what is out there. Companies often consider your type of cargo, vehicle, driving history, location, operating areas, contractual requirements, and your US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Authority.
Starting with your basic commercial truck insurance, like primary liability coverage, costs may have a baseline of close to $800, or more if you have transport trucks. Costs will then add up depending on the aforementioned factors, together with the add-ons for your particular business needs.
Speaking with an agent of an insurance company will give you a better understanding of the combination of coverage options you need, and can give you an opportunity to inquire about potential discounts along the way to save some money.
Sometimes, discounts can be given if you have a good USDOT driving record, pay premiums in full, choose higher policy deductibles, or insure multiple vehicles. You can also organize your payment method through an electronic funds transfer.
For further reading on the trucking industry, check out some of these additional resources.
The ATA is the nation's biggest and most comprehensive trade association for this particular industry. With affiliations in all fifty states, you can check out the latest news and updates for every type of truck in the industry. No matter the size of your company, the ATA can advise you on the tools you will need to grow and prosper in your truck business.
To participate in the nationwide movement of highlighting the importance of the trucking industry and encouraging its safety, check out Trucking Moves America. They work with stakeholders on both the federal and state level to create policies to keep the industry running as well as it should be.
In an industry as essential and risky as trucking, securing proper insurance is everything. In case you need more support and information about insurance for the trucking industry, Assured Standard can give you the support you need.
Let us help you make the best and safest decision for your company. Contact Assured Standard today!