If you have recently purchased a semi-truck, you are on the road to becoming an owner-operator. However, before you can get on the road, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. It is very easy to conclude that you can leave everything insurance-related to your insurance broker; however, you couldn’t be more wrong. While your insurance broker has important information that will save you time and energy, they cannot make some decisions on your behalf.
Your broker can match you with the right insurer, but the task of making the right decision and asking the right questions is yours. To help you through the new insurance challenges that come with your new purchase, you need to become familiar with some terms. Below are some of the common terms you should know before your appointment with your insurer.
Trucking Insurance Terms You Should Know
- Truckers General Liability Coverage – This insurance coverage provides backing for the actions or damages caused by the driver on another person’s premises. Premises that may be covered include truck stops and loading docks. Mistakes made by drivers in the delivery of their load may also be covered under this.
- Primary Liability Coverage – This insurance coverage offers to back damages caused to others with the truck. Please note that it does not provide coverage for your truck or any damages incurred to it.
- Physical Damage Coverage – This insurance coverage offers backing for damages due to an accident or the theft of your truck.
- Non-Trucking Liability Coverage – This provides coverage for damages caused by the truck to others while it is not under active duty or assignment from the company it is leased to.
- Motor Truck Cargo Coverage – Cargo policy offers insurance coverage for goods carried irrespective of the risks. This product covers stolen or damaged goods, refrigeration breakdown, wet loads, debris removal, and other unforeseen instances that can cause expensive damages.
- Trailer Interchange – Covers all non-owned trailers that have been signed under a trailer interchange contract.
- Medical Payment – Offers coverage for passenger’s medical bills if they are injured in an accident involving the truck.
- Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists – This coverage comes into effect if someone uninsured or underinsured hits you.
How Much Is Commercial Truck Insurance?
Owner-operators should be prepared to fork out anything between $8,000 and $14,000 for their insurance needs. However, while the number may appear huge on the surface, understanding what it entails adds the much-needed perspective. Failing to pay for insurance now may cost you a lot more later in the future. For instance, a truck accident case may cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in liability. With the right insurance coverage, you have little to nothing to worry about. However, without one, you may be looking at a potentially grave situation.
The key to understanding the insurance cost for your truck is looking at the fine prints, especially the deductible. For example, if a company offers you a $2,000 deductible, this means that for every $10,000 damage you incur, you’ll have to pay $2,000 while the insurance company handles the remaining $8,000. It is always good to remember that when a product looks or sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Insurance Coverages – Getting Value for your Money
Insurance coverages are as important as the insurance product itself. Knowing what is covered and what isn’t can help you make financial decisions, especially as you grow in your new line of business. While insurance coverages may be the same from one provider to another, it is important to pay attention to some of the coverage options discussed above.
Who Is Your Insurance Company?
If you have taken the time to learn more about trucking and the available insurance coverages, your insurer should too. You do not want to end up with an insurance company with no idea about trucking or what is obtainable in the field. To ensure that you get the best service and coverage options, look into the insurer’s reputation. Make sure that the insurer has a solid and clean reputation. Also, focus on their knowledge about the trucking industry, what could go wrong, and how to protect you from those unforeseen circumstances. Finally, note that failure to do your due diligence and research can lead to thousands of dollars in debt later on.
Pay Attention to Their Service
If you are paying an insurance company to keep you out of debt at a later time, it is fair to expect premium service from them. Choose an insurer who cares about their customer and is willing to go above and beyond to ensure that customers’ needs are addressed. You can begin by paying attention to their communication and how fast your inquiries are addressed.
In a world where most businesses offer 24/7 services, your insurance provider shouldn’t be an exception. Having around-the-clock service ensures that you will be able to report accidents at any time of the day or night.
Asking the Right Questions
Your choice of insurance provider can affect you now and in the future. To make the right selection, you need to know the questions to ask and why those questions are important. Below are some of the important questions to focus on.
What’s Your Insurance Company’s Rating?
There are rating agencies that assess the quality of products and services offered by insurance companies. Based on a set of criteria, those agencies decide on a rating for the insurance company. The rating offers customers an insight into the financial strength of the insurance company. The stronger an insurance company is, the higher the chances of meeting its obligations to customers.
Is This an Unlimited Policy?
Unlimited policies are designed to cover virtually all hazards and losses that can occur under a particular insurance type. Having an unlimited policy offers extended protection to you as a customer.
What Type of Cargo Form Is Included in This Policy?
Having cargo insurance is essential. Another important part is what type of cargo is covered. Be sure to determine whether the insurance provider offers specific or broad covers.
You should also ask about additional deductibles and operation hours. All of these are important information that you must know as you launch your new trucking business. If you need to learn more, visit https://www.millerhanover.com/business-insurance/commercial-auto-insurance/
Miller Hanover Insurance
334 High St
Hanover PA 17331