Do you own a trucking company?
You need to do many things to become an owner of such a business, and therefore, you have to be careful with how you go about it. You probably have done a great job in securing financing and getting the best vehicles to facilitate service delivery and meet the expectations of your clients.
The next task is to find truck insurance to ensure you do not incur losses in accidents and other situations. It may seem an easy task, considering that many companies offer these services in your area. However, you will find out that not all the companies suit your needs, and so, you have to thoroughly examine every offer before choosing one.
This article helps you find out the most important questions to ask when looking for a truck insurer.
1. What Vehicles Are Covered Under Truck Insurance?
To achieve business success as a trucker, you need to be privy to information regarding insurable vehicles in your area. For trucks, there is no bias because regardless of what you are using, insurers will always have a cover for you. That is why you see so many different trucks carrying out various activities in your area.
Some of the most common types of trucks include:
- Tow trucks
- Moving trucks
- Dumping and garbage trucks
Although all these trucks are insurable, you have to check with your preferred company to know how much you will pay for the one you use. It would be best to ask them why they ask for that premium, especially when higher than other vehicles. With the correct information, you will get the best auto insurance.
2. What Is My Vehicle Class?
Trucks, tractors, and trailers are classified based on their gross weight, determining your vehicle class. Unlike private passenger cars, these will be billed based on the weight that they carry. That is why an insurance company will ask about your Gross vehicle weight before determining how much you should pay.
It goes without saying that when your Gross vehicle weight is large, you will be asked to pay more. You may want to start with smaller trucks initially because you may not have enough luggage to fill large ones. You can scale up as your business grows.
3. Does the Number of Drivers and Vehicles Affect Truck Insurance Premiums?
Commercial truck insurance companies will look at the number of vehicles in your fleet and drivers working for your company when calculating insurance rates. It is because the liability grows as the fleet grows. Therefore, if you only have a few trucks, you are likely to pay less than a company that already has tens or hundreds of them.
You do not need a large fleet to get insurance because some companies start with as low as three trucks. The only reason the insurer wants to know about these statistics is to ensure that you have adequate cover for your business. Remember that the risks that your business faces are the ones that determine your insurance needs.
4. What Activities Do You Conduct With Your Trucks?
The activities that you conduct using trucks also play a significant role in determining an insurance policy. It is because these activities also determine how much risk your business is exposed to. You will be surprised to find out that some companies use their trucks in the riskiest ways, yet yours are almost unused most of the time.
Some of the activities that you can use trucks include:
- Delivery of consumer goods
- Delivery of hazardous materials
- Construction needs
- Training truck drivers
If you are constantly trucking through the countryside and mountains, you know it is riskier than using the vehicles on the expressways. It is the same thing that happens when you drive through valleys and areas without good roads. It means that the chances of the truck breaking down or even causing an accident are high.
5. How Often Are Your Trucks on the Roads?
Some trucking companies spend a lot of time on the roads because they have a lot to do with their vehicles. Maybe, they have many orders from their clients, making their drivers work round the clock. It may also be because the nature of their business requires them to be mobile all the time.
It would help if you understood that the time you spend on the roads determines the risk associated with your car. It is a significant factor in calculating insurance premiums, which is why insurance companies will have to capture accurate information about it. Commercial trucking insurance providers use various methods to calculate risks based on the time spent on the roads.
6. What Are Minimum Liability Requirements?
Insurance shopping may be one of the most complicated tasks because you also need to know the minimum liability you must meet before getting these services. You will notice that truck usage varies depending on each state, and so do liability requirements. Because of that, you need to talk to the insurance company and find out the minimum requirements in your state before signing that policy.
In most states, the minimum requirements are the same as those of private vehicles. However, there are cases when you need to add no-fault coverage and uninsured motorist insurance to liability insurance. Meeting the bare minimum may not be enough if you want to protect your business.
7. Can You Customize Truck Insurance?
There is no one-size-fits-all insurance solution when it comes to trucking businesses because each one is unique. If you combine all factors that insurance companies use to calculate premiums, you will notice that the risk always varies, and so does the amount. That is why you need to talk to your company to find a customized solution.
Anyone who has been in business for a long time will tell you that customized solutions are the best ways to grow a company. There is no exception for insurance for trucks, so you should take the chance. Find a company that is ready to listen to your needs and provide a perfect solution.
8. How Much Auto Insurance Does Your Trucking Company Need?
When you take insurance cover, you agree to receive a certain amount of money in case of a loss. This amount is based on the premiums, and so you may have to pay more if you want more compensation. The problem is that most new truckers do not even know how much they need.
Most states require you to take a minimum coverage of $500,000 and a limit of $1,000,000. However, if you feel you have other needs, you can take them under a business umbrella policy. You may have to analyze all your needs and risks before you choose how much to insure.
If you are not sure about the amount to insure for your business, you may want to talk to a professional who will inspect your business and come up with an assessment. They will tell you how much you will need in case an accident occurs. That is how you settle for the right amount and run your business without worries.
9. Does It Cover Personal Use?
Commercial truck insurance includes personal use, which makes it a fantastic option if you want to use the trucks elsewhere. You will notice that sometimes, you are out of business for a long time, and you need to use the trucks for other tasks. In this case, you do not have to worry about additional liability.
Things are, however, different when you want to use personal vehicles for business. You may want to talk to your insurance company and find out the additional liability that comes with such an action. Let them tell you how much more you have to pay to avoid being caught in a difficult situation in case of a loss.
10. Is This Insurance Tax Deductible?
The Internal Revenue Service allows for tax deductions by small businesses that have taken truck insurance. The amount in question depends on various factors, including your state laws. Because of that, you may want to talk to your insurer to know how much it would be.
11. How Can You Lower Truck Insurance Premiums?
If you want to lower truck insurance premiums, you have several options at your disposal. For instance, you should hire qualified drivers with a good tracking record. If you install safety devices and opt for higher deductibles, the premiums will be low too.
Get Commercial Truck Insurance From the Right Insurer
After knowing all questions to ask when looking for commercial truck insurance, you should look for the best truck insurer. You need to know that getting answers to these questions counts for nothing if you end up with an unreliable insurance company. If you have no specific company in mind, read reviews from credible sources and judge what consumers say.
A good rule of thumb is to compare several companies and contact them to know what they have to offer.
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