Have you been wondering about how insuring an 18 wheeler goes?
Look no further as I take you through it all, I mean, all you need to know!
In simple terms, truck insurance provides financial protection (full or partial), against bodily injury or damage that occurs due to traffic collisions and against liability that could happen from incidents in a truck.
For legal operations, a truck driver needs insurance. Although, you will get to discover for yourself that’s the main issue round truck insurance is bigger than the legalities around it.
Follow me through, as I take you through, one by one – to a comprehensive understanding. I must say – that, finding insurance could be challenging.
Take a deep breath; all your answers are here and now!
In some cases, which depend on the insurance coverage you choose, truck insurance may offer financial protection against both theft and damage to the truck.
And damages that occur due to incidents order than traffic collisions. Examples are natural disasters, keying, and losses due to an accident with stationary objects.
What determines the level of protection on truck insurance is the coverage. Truck insurance can cover some or all the following protections:
Different policies states and covers the situations under which each item is included.
For example, a truck can be insured against fire damage, theft or accident damage independently.
Also, In a situation where a truck is of complete loss due to damage, and the truck's market value is less than the amount that is still owed to the bank financing the truck, GAP insurance is employed. Hence, they make up for the difference.
TYPES OF TRUCK INSURANCE
I will extensively take you through the various types of truck insurance available. This will further guide you on decisions to make. We will discuss and evaluate the following:
1. COMMERCIAL TRUCK INSURANCE
Finding a commercial truck insurance policy is difficult, as commercial trucking itself is a tricky business to get involved with and be successful at.
This is because aside from the problematic issues you face daily by driving a commercial truck, you have logistics and the administrative part of the business to deal with.
With the rate of accidents caused by commercial vehicles, it becomes difficult to insure trucks which are responsible for half the accidents caused by commercial vehicles alone.
Aside from been required by law, commercial truck insurance is necessary to protect drivers and owners in the event of cargo loss, liability in an accident or an overhaul repair.
What is Required to be Eligible for Commercial Truck Insurance?
There are several requirements. Some are mandatory others optional. A condition is that trucking companies must be able to prove their ability for enough coverage on their trucks with the government.
This proof will state they can cover both the value of the truck and cargo — also, protection against any form of liability such as an accident caused by the trucker.
There is an unofficial policy of the “two-year-rule” where drivers with less than two years commercial driving experience cannot be insured. For new drivers, this is quite difficult.
However, this rule is not applied to a few insurance companies. Hence they will still insure new drivers. Although, these companies are generally more expensive.
How Much Is Commercial Truck Insurance?
There is no set price for commercial truck insurance just like consumer auto insurance.
Each of the policy is dependent on individual risk factors such as past accidents, operating radius, etc. although some companies offer all types of cargo for commercial truck insurance.
Top Commercial Truck Insurance Companies
List of Top Commercial Truck Insurance Companies include:
2. SEMI TRUCK INSURANCE
Semi-truck insurance is a liability cover for injuries or damages caused to other parties when the driver is at fault.
Different types of coverage may be added depending on several factors that are special to the driver.
Average, semi-truck insurance costs for leased owner-operators can range from $1,500-$2,000 per year.
Types of semi trucks insurance. These types include:
Bobtail Truck Insurance
This Truck Insurance has coverage which provides for bodily injury and property damage, caused by the operator of the equipment when the owner/operator is outside the scope of his lease agreement with the motor carrier.
Cargo Truck Insurance
Cargo Truck Insurance is necessary for all motor carriers to purchase. This is to avoid a loss for the transportation of non-owned truck cargo that’s been transferred into their care, custody, and control.
Commercial Auto Truck Insurance
Commercial Auto Truck insurance is concerned with the transportation of goods.
Contingent Liability applies to situations where an owner/operator with OCC/ACC decides to try to collect Workmen’s Compensation benefits.
Freightliner Truck Insurance
This is applicable for truck drivers who have a Freightliner truck. The minimum insurance policy is the mandatory coverage for the Freightliner trailers.
Leased Operator Truck Insurance
Leased Operator Truck Insurance applies to independent driver leased to a motor carrier. This Insurance will protect your livelihood and equipment that carrier does not cover in a basic liability insurance coverage.
New Authority Truck Insurance
To acquire this insurance, your business will require three advisors who are very familiar with trucking: an insurance agent, an attorney, and an accountant.
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
Non-Trucking Liability is mostly required by the motor carrier that the owner-operator has signed a lease agreement with. It also provides coverage for property damage or bodily injury to a third party.
Occupational Accident Truck Insurance
They are primarily focused on truck drivers who have suffered a work-related injury and to help them get well and get back to work promptly.
Physical Damage Truck Insurance
This coverage offers 24-hour collision coverage. Applicable to physical damage to your trucks such as fire, theft, rollover, vandalism, or collision.
DIFFERENT COVERAGES AND THEIR COST
Both the type of policy and of the truck needed that you drive determines the cost to be paid. If you are a trucker, you will take care of primary liability and, bobtail and any extra costs that may arise. These costs include:
The followings are the list of the different coverage and their average cost.
1. Primary liability ($5,000-$7,000)
It covers damages as a result of your driving. It does not include your semi-truck.
2. Physical damage ($1,000-$3,000)
This coverage includes damages caused by natural disaster, vandalism, collision, and theft.
3. General liability ($500-$600)
General liability insurance covers a majority of what is not covered by primary liability. It is more concerned about the business and not the trucks.
4. Bobtail insurance ($350-$400)
Bobtail insurance covers both driver and truck. This hold when they are not hauling any load, especially when traveling between jobs (after offloading). It covers for a semi-truck without a trailer attached.
5. Umbrella policy ($500-$700)
The coverage protects above and beyond general liability, worker compensation and auto liability.
6. Occupational accident ($1,600-$2,200)
It covers damages as a result of your driving. It does not include your semi-truck.
7. Cargo coverage
Cargo coverage is dependent on the cargo limits required for each type of cargo.
Non-trucking liability applies injuries and damages to third parties caused by a lease driver while for non-business purposes.
There are details an insurance agent needs to know about your business. Prepare yourself with this guide.
Cost as at when new
The gross vehicle weighs
Current mileage of the truck
Vehicle identification number (VIN)
Also, state that your business uses the vehicle(s). This will affect the overall premium. Also mention it, if employees drive the vehicle; And state if the vehicle transports people or goods and how often (or rarely) the truck is used.
Driver information. For each driver, include:
To cut cost on your insurance quote and premium, provide information about any commercial vehicle insurance claims had in the past three years.
Eligibility is based on meeting up with the requirements as stated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Insurance requirements can vary. The legal requirements for the FMCSA are:
It is best to inform your insurance company immediately there’s an eventuality to report a claim.
After contacting them, you’ll be reached by one of the specialists to set up an inspection depending on the policy you’re on.
For example, if your policy covers for passengers and haulage, the investigation would be based on these.
The damages will be assessed, and an estimate for the repairs will be provided.
Repairs or replacement will commence once this is done.
3. FOOD TRUCK INSURANCE
In the mobile food industry, food truck insurance is a necessity.
Typically, more than one type of insurance coverage is needed which includes commercial vehicle insurance and general liability.
Insurance costs vary because of the uniqueness of each food truck business.
Types of Food Truck Insurance
Several types of insurance coverage exist for different forms of the food truck business.
Some types of food truck insurance coverage are required by law. The others though not required by law are strongly recommended.
1. Commercial Vehicle Insurance
The coverage is similar to personal auto insurance with some critical differences like limits of coverage, eligibility, and exclusions.
Generally, commercial vehicles get exposed to more risk of damage and liability than personal vehicles.
The type of coverage a commercial vehicle insurance policy covers include the following:
2. Property Insurance
This Insurance is applicable in accident cases, as it covers costs by the vehicle.
It functions as additional coverage to equipment attached to trucks.
Property insurance coverage for attached equipment to the vehicle can include:
As earlier mentioned about recommended policies; property insurance is one; it helps sort out an unexpected bill which will help you replace all of your essential equipment if damaged and incidents that tends to put a stop on your business quickly.
3. General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance goes beyond policies that cover risks but not covered by a food truck business’s commercial vehicle policy or property insurance.
General Liability Insurance is also highly recommended. Examples of risk exposures this insurance can cover include:
4. Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers Compensation Insurance is required for employers with more than one employee.
It covers the financial risk that arises from employee work-related injuries and illness.
It can occasionally cover legal fees in addition to medical expenses. This compensation covers a range of hazards such as:
The risk of an unexpected accident will have been significantly reduced by putting these four types of insurance in place,
Factors that Determine the Cost of Coverage of a food truck business include:
Additional factors include:
Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value
Generally, new equipment is more expensive than used equipment. Hence, choosing replacement cost coverage will make your insurance premium higher rather than the cash value of your equipment.
Number of Employees
A point to note is that the higher your employees, the higher your cost. This factor directly impacts worker's compensation premium.
Minimum coverage usually are lower. Same is true for higher premiums; they will equally be higher
Higher deductibles result in lower premiums.
There are simple steps to ensure to lay a claim when an accident happens. Call when an accident occurs to report a claim.
A specialist will contact you to set up a vehicle inspection. The damages will be to assess an estimate for the repairs will be provided.
Specialists can also help answer your questions and arrange for a tow. They will handle the cost of towing the truck.
Repairs or replacement will commence once this is done.
4. TOW TRUCK INSURANCE
Tow truck owners can be grouped into three categories which are:
(i) Those that work as an independent contractor;
(ii) Those that have a fleet of trucks and run a towing business and
(iii) Those that own them to tow their commercial vehicles if roadside assistance is required.
It is necessary you purchase tow truck insurance if you already have one now or planning on getting one.
What is Tow Truck Insurance?
Tow Truck insurance helps you cover for contingencies in the event of towing a vehicle.
Tow truck owner’s go through unique challenges similar to those faced by the owners of other commercial vehicles.
They understand these risks and provide wrecker insurance policies that include several different coverage options discussed below.
Other coverages that Tow truck companies often carry are:
Garage Keepers Legal Liability insurance: it protects your customers' vehicles when they're parked on your property.
On-Hook Towing insurance: it protects your customers' vehicles while you're towing them.
Tow General Liability insurance: it covers bodily injury, property damage or personal injury that is not directly related to your covered vehicles.
All commercial tow truck owners and operators are required by law to carry liability insurance.
Insomuch that, you are responsible for the well-being of your customers, drivers and the vehicles to be towed; you’ll need several additional types of coverage on the tow truck insurance you purchase.
Ensure you work with a knowledgeable independent agent or broker specializing in commercial vehicle insurance who can customize a policy to your needs. Include the following in your plan:
Tow truck liability insurance:
This covers liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage that may be caused by either you or your drivers. The Liability for Tow truck drivers happens under situations such as:
It should be noted that this coverage provides compensation for legal fees and court costs in events where you ’re sued for a covered liability claim.
Medical payments insurance
This insurance option covers for payments of medical bills of injuries sustained by either your driver or any passengers while in your tow truck.
Physical damage insurance
Applies to situations when your truck is damaged, regardless of fault.
Lenders usually require this type of coverage if you have financed the purchase of your vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage includes damages that result as a result of theft, vandalism, natural disasters, etc.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance
It covers for the cost if you or your driver gets into a collision. Mostly applies when the other party is at fault.
Garage service insurance
This is for businesses that offer towing services.
It covers damages by a vehicle in service. It could be while parked or in a covered location. These damages can include occurrences like as a result of a fire, theft, vandalism, collision, etc.
On-hook towing insurance
On-hook towing coverage is suitable for tow-truck operators. In cases where vehicles you don’t own are damaged, you can count on this insurance policy to bail you out.
It includes damages as a result of the collision, fire, theft, explosion, or vandalism
Cost mostly depends on your specific situation as the factors that influenced the cost that may be different from others.
Factors that influence your cost include your location, towing and driving history.
Due to the increased risks faced by tow truck drivers, towing insurance policies tend to be more expensive than the typical commercial truck policies for vehicles in the same weight class.
Age, a model of truck, driving records are factors that influences cost.
In each of these cases, when an accident occurs, the compensation to be received when a claim is filed will depend on the amount of coverage you buy.
It is essential to evaluate your liability risks and the amount of coverage you need to protect your towing vehicles and your assets.
5. RENTAL TRUCK INSURANCE
How Will I Know if I Need Rental Truck Insurance
There’s a simple way to know if you need rental truck insurance. Your truck insurance or credit card does not usually cover rental trucks (also refers to as tow-long) over a certain weight, unlike rental trucks which are usually insured under your vehicle insurance or credit card.
The first thing you are to do is to check with your car insurance agent or broker before entering the rental’s parking lot.
What is Included in Rental Truck Insurance
There’re different types of truck rental insurance with each of them protecting you from different danger or unwanted events.
Some truck providers have customized ready-made products to meet the requirement or request of their customers, but these products contain several components including:
As the name implies, this coverage means that you will not be held responsible for any damage caused by you to the vehicle. This coverage is in most cases, usually subjected to a list of exclusions.
Medical and life coverage
This coverage pays a certain amount of your medical bill or that of your passengers’ medical bill in case an accident occur. It also pays some certain amount if you or any of your passenger’s life got killed in an accident.
Supplemental liability insurance (SLI)
This coverage covers and protects you up to a certain amount if you damage another person’s property.
You might need to check on your policy’s specifics before purchasing this coverage. If you have car insurance, your personal car insurance’s liability coverage will likely cover you.
This will cover you financially to some extent if your truck is damaged due to an accident or from an act of nature such as fire accident of tornado.
Auto tow protection
Deductibles are excluded from this coverage but still available for tow-long U-hauls, and always has coverage if involved in an accident or attacked by occurrences such as natural disaster.
How Much Rental Truck Insurance Coverage Do I Need?
It’s sometimes more convenient to go with the most comprehensive coverage option available to you, though, may cost you more.
Check your car and home insurance policies accurately before purchasing additional coverage.
You will have to review all your already purchased insurance policies before going for additional coverages.
Doing this will help you reduce the cost of purchasing the full package of rental truck insurance.
For instance, your home insurance will cover things in the truck while your car insurance will cover your liability coverage thus reducing your worries and cost of purchase.
What Does My Rental Truck Insurance Cover?
What your rental truck insurance covers is solely dependent on the coverage option you go for, but your policy will generally cover any damage that happens by you or an authorized driver, as well as damage that occurs to passengers or your stuff (if you already have that aspect covered).
Damages caused by hitting an overhead object such as bridges, trees, etc. are not covered by this policy. Know the height of your rental truck and avoid any bridges that are shorter than your rental vehicle. Mechanical damages are also not covered by most plans.
Can I Drive a Rental Truck Without Having Car Insurance?
It depends on the rental truck company. However, whether or not they force you to buy rental insurance, you definitely should.
This is solely on the rental company you are dealing with but the best and ideal way to purchase rental truck insurance even if you are not mandated to do so.
Always have this in your mind that rental truck coverage can’t be technically regarded as insurance but rather as a waiver.
This waiver will keep the rental truck away from coming after a base on the agreement on the coverage option you had with them irrespective of the damage you may have done to their vehicle.
Where Can I Buy Rental Truck Insurance?
The rental’s company website is the best and first place to check before buying rental truck insurance.
Checking their site to check for the available insurance options before renting the vehicle will be the best practice.
6. LOG TRUCK INSURANCE
For those who love logs, you’ll learn the particular insurance policy that governs this sector.
Log Truck insurance is tailored for the logging industry. The rates are entirely different from auto insurance policies.
As simple and straightforward as you think hauling is, it is shockingly one of the most dangerous freight hauls been performed.
The reason for this is the length and weight of logs (could be 20 - 100 feet, and could be more in length; could weigh over a ton each, depending on the type of tree), which increases the risk of injuring and tipping other road users. This risk is far higher than boxed loads.
Log truck insurance covers the truck, the driver and other motorist affected by any form of accident.
In this type of insurance, fire or chemicals are the only physical damages that can occur to affect the products. Hence, the liabilities of others are of more importance when this type of insurance is written.
Tieing downloads as securely as possible does not prevent eventualities like load burst.
Load burst could have a resultant effect like logs rolling onto incoming traffic and destroying other vehicles which could include loss of lives. Truck insurance covers all these scenarios.
Irrespective of how secured loggers work hard to load their tree onto trucks, still the unexpected still happens.
Since these scenarios cannot be controlled, it is mandatory to be insured so securely and confidently haul these heavy loads around the country.
How to Shop for Log Truck Insurance
It is essential to look beyond the formality around having a Log Truck Insurance. Sit back, weigh the benefits of been insured.
When looking at log truck insurance, consider the direct benefits of being insured. As much as you expect the best, prepare for the worse.
Insurance is that friend you want around before the incident occurs.
After this first step, commit yourself to a policy although the price could cause an obsession. This will not cause any good because safety and protection are paramount.
Do not try to negotiate or cut cost. Do this right because when there’s an unexpected incident later, you’ll have the satisfaction that your business is safe and also knowing that employee and asset protection were the number one priorities.
Evaluating your workers is critical as good policies will need proof that your workers have been assessed; hence, Consider your best drivers when becoming log truck insured. Ensure that none of them are prone to drugs, violence, etc.
Ensure you train your drivers properly as this be a requirement for getting a perfect log truck insurance policy.
Insurance companies are very cautious about before insuring businesses. You will need to ensure the above is followed to the later.
Less recognized insurance companies might give you lower quotes when compared to the bigger ones. However, always ensure you get quotes from reputable insurance companies.
It best to go for the more reputable one due to their depth of experience over time as they have weathered many financial storms and have become established in the industry and are worthy of your business.
Such Insurance companies can offer better policies and guarantee a level of confidence that others cannot.
Before signing into policy agreement, be sure to check the limitations of the policy.
These could be very minute details that could be overlooked. It would be best if you looked out for the flexibilities in the coverage that an insurance agent proposes to you. Such as differences in accidents and scenarios like what happens in a critical emergency.
As earlier mentioned, don’t settle for the less when thinking about insurance policies! Log truck insurance is essential as it deals with lives, properties, money and the future of a business. It is worth putting your time, effort and resources into making the best decision!
Purchasing Insurance for Log Trucks
Purchasing Liability Insurance and Physical Damage Coverage is mandatory as a log truck operator to protect your log truck when you get into an accident.
Consider purchasing Motor Truck Cargo insurance if you work on a for-hire basis. It will help you protect the logs you may be hauling in your truck.
Log Truck Insurance also helps your cover for the equipment you use to protect your loads like covers and tarps. Also, consider purchasing Rental Reimbursement with Downtime coverage, to ensure you have the best protection for your dump truck.
Filings for Log Truck Operators
It is required in many cases, as a log truck operator, to a financial responsibility filling in addition to your log truck insurance.
7. DUMP TRUCK INSURANCE
This type of insurance covers trucking companies that use dump trucks to transport construction materials, quarries, mining and road work materials such as sand, dirt, gravel, rock, and other loose materials.
Dump trucks are also referred to as heavy-duty commercial vehicles.
As the name goes, “heavy duty,” they pose a challenge for insuring businesses employing these vehicles.
Large dump trucks have over 55,000 pounds in gross vehicle weight. Tractors pulling dump trucks weigh about 80,000 pounds of gross vehicle weight.
Choose an insurance company that can design a policy which will suit your business needs be it a single truck, an owner-operator or a dump truck fleet increasing units.
Dump Trucks are prone to back-up accidents and overturn than other commercial trucks.
This is because dump trucks are always built to withstand or avoid collisions and overturn because they’re often used in construction sites and roadwork zones.
It is therefore essential to maintain adequate liability limits and physical damage coverage when either of these incidents occurs.
Most Dump truck companies generally have their cost between $4,000 – $14,000 / year per truck for insurance. There are factors in which Premiums for dump truck insurance depend on. They include:
For trucking businesses that have been in operations for 2 or more years, with a good loss history, excellent safety scores and experienced drivers, have higher tendencies to secure the most competitive rate on their insurance.
As new trucking businesses, you will have to pay higher.
Dump Truck insurance policy contains several coverages. They include:
Primary liability covers injuries to people or damages to properties if you’re at fault in the course of the accident.
This is covered in the event of a collision, fire, overturn, theft, vandalism, etc.
Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection
It covers for medical expenses to both driver and passenger in the truck that is injured during an accident regardless of who’s at fault.
Physical damage policy also comes with downtime feature which you can add. Downtime enables additional protection feature against lost income. In an event where your truck is rendered inoperable, downtime coverage can help you keep your truck payment and can over other bills over some time.
Loan or lease Gap
Depreciation can happen faster in trucks than the financed value. Loan or lease gap coverage covers for a percentage of your loss on your loan or lease.
Truck rental reimbursement
Truck rental covers for incidence such as having a collision or comprehensive loss. It enables you to continue working during such occurrences. Adding your physical damage policy to your truck rental reimbursement policy can allow you to rent a replacement truck and receive reimbursement for a large part of the rental cost.
What to do when claiming
Call when an accident happens to report a claim. One of the specialist agents will contact you to set up a vehicle inspection. The damages will be to assess an estimate for the repairs will be provided.
Specialists can also help answer your questions and arrange for a tow. They will handle the cost of towing the truck.
Repairs or replacement will commence once this is done.
REVIEW OF TRUCK INSURANCE COMPANIES
Esurance offers swift online auto insurance and comparison quotes. It can be purchased immediately and are highly rated.
They are also a member of the Allstate family. Their state of the art intuitive and tech tools help take the hassle off insurance.
Esurance promotes affiliates. They use Commission Junction to manage their affiliate program. They also have avenues to help you develop their services as an affiliate. Compensations could be as up to $13.33 per action.
OOIDA Truck Insurance
OOIDA has a full range of options with fast turnaround and competitive rates.
Its total focus is commercial truck insurance; hence, OOIDA has some of the best and most specific policies on the market.
Their rating is outstanding at the Better Business Bureau. A drawback to OOIDA is their customer service.
Allstate offers a wide range of tools and aids customers through the process of designing a customized plan.
They also offer lots of discounts and have dedicated agents. Allstate drivers are assigned an Allstate agent, who help you work around your personalized plans to help you save on your policy, improve coverage and file insurance claim.
Allstate drawback includes slightly higher rates when compared with other Insurance providers in some areas, although their discounts stand. Even with the advent of their dedicated agents, they are rated average for customer service.
The NITIC (National Independent Truckers Insurance Company) offers a wide variety of coverages for everything from tractor trailers to box trucks, pickups, vans, and even dump trucks.
Their specialty is owner-operator trucking companies and small commercial fleets.
Licensed in 48 states and maintaining a high rating score, their range of coverages are from $35,000 up to $5 million. Their cost determinant depends on risk, region, and other factors.
NITIC’s customer service is rated far above any other company which offers commercial trucking insurance.
Their depth, range, and breadth of policies span across the entire range of what a commercial hauling operation may need.
Interestingly, their coverage is comparatively affordable. Another interesting fact is that they are specialized in smaller operations whose need for coverage is inevitable but don’t have a lot of operating capital to invest in insurance.
The unavoidable need arises for truck insurance policies. This is not because an insurance company or sort need to sell their plan, but like I sometimes see it, your advantage. The level of security and confidence you have in knowing that your workers and your business are insured cannot be overemphasized.
You should not, for whatever reason, price down your preferred policy. As convenient and smart as it might feel now, in the event of eventualities, you ’d have preferred you made the best decisions.
Realize that you need to insure your business. This is the first step. Commit yourself to choose a policy. Select a custom plan for companies that enable this feature.
Before selecting this, analyze your specific business needs and peculiarities and be sure of exactly what you need insured. Contact a preferred insurance company of your choice based on the review, recommendation, and your individual need.
On selecting, read all the policy agreement and be sure you understand. Ask their customer service or the insurance agent about grey areas you need the light on.
After you sign this agreement, be dedicated to keeping to your end of the bargain in keeping to the terms and conditions.
Now, you can stay safe and focused on your business while your insurance company works tirelessly to ensure you’re safe and fully covered.
Take the decision now. Call or contact an insurance agent right away to have your needs discussed. You might be surprised you just saved yourself hundreds of dollars by taking actions now.