Truck insurance is a necessity for novice truckers and seasoned pros alike. But it can often feel like an expensive burden. The high coverage limits required to operate legally may make you feel like you’re just throwing money away on your premiums.
Safe drivers should pay less, but you shouldn’t sell yourself short and go without quality coverage on the road. Buying truck insurance might feel like a chore. But with the tips included below, you can get the right policies for your needs without breaking the bank.
The Basics: What Commercial Truck Insurance You Actually Need
Any time you talk to an insurance provider, they’ll try to sell you a variety of policies you may never actually use or need. Extra coverage is a major benefit (more on that later), but you must know your stuff and ultimately make the call for yourself. Before considering extra coverage, there are coverage’s every trucker must pay for to meet regulations and cover basic exposures.
Primary Auto Liability Coverage
Commercial trucks must have a primary liability policy, which covers the damage to a third party after an accident. If you ever hit someone else, or they’re otherwise injured in a collision with your truck, this policy will have your back.
General commercial trucking liability insurance covers events that take place on other people’s property, whether it’s at a truck stop or loading dock. Coverage often includes limits for medical payments, products liability, and rented premises liability.
Non-Trucking Liability Coverage
Although not required by law, many companies now require their drivers to have their own non-trucking liability policy (not to be confused with bobtail insurance). When you’re on a job, chances are that you’ll spend plenty of time behind the wheel for non-trucking purposes. But if you’re involved in an accident, what coverage can you use?
Primary and general policies only cover you in the event of work-related trucking accidents. Non-trucking liability coverage gives you protection when you’re using your truck for non-work-related reasons. However, non-trucking policies don’t cover you if you’re pulling a trailer or using the truck to make money for any reason.
The extra policies and coverage’s you may want to add include motor cargo coverage, trailer interchange, medical payments and rental reimbursement. There are also different insurance requirements for commercial trucks transporting hazardous material or heavy loads. Each of these policies will either need to be purchased separately, or you’ll need to up the limits on your primary liability policy.
Covering your cargo and any potential damages or losses, medical bills and trailer costs is a great idea, even though they aren’t required by law. The worst thing you can do is avoid buying good coverage just to save money right now. You may have to pay far more than any savings you earn if you’re involved in an accident and insurance only covers the bare bones.
How to Choose a Truck Insurance Provider
Research, compare, repeat. This is the formula you want when it comes to finding the right insurance. Make a list of your needs, both legally and personally. Then, research at least three different companies and make a list that compares their coverages. Obtain free quotes and see where you’re really saving the most. Sometimes, the best deal is paying a little more for a much larger amount of coverage.
If you’re worried about the overall cost of commercial truck insurance, there are luckily many discounts you may qualify for. Paying off the full year, setting up a direct transfer from your bank account and even having a Class C license can help you save.
And remember, you don’t have to go about purchasing your insurance alone. Contact an independent agent who specializes in commercial trucking insurance. Independent agents represent their clients, not the insurance companies. They can help identify your needs and shop for the best terms and pricing available.
If you’re looking to work with someone that can provide you with competitive options and specialize in trucking insurance, check out the guys at Truck Insurance Pros. Truck Insurance Pros has been in the insurance business since 1947. They’ve got the experience and know how you’ve come to expect and depend on.