The trucking industry revenue is the lifeblood of the U.S economy, according to the American Trucking Association. High insurance expenses, however, continue to be a threat to many companies in the industry. Over the years, insurance companies have expanded their insurance offering, which makes choosing what matters a difficulty. Here are the most common types of commercial truck insurance coverage.
Primary auto liability insurance is a must as stipulated in most states' automobile insurance laws. Every carrier must have liability insurance even on leased units. It protects you when a third party is injured in the event of an accident. If you are an owner-operator, it is important to be clear on who will pay the insurance when leasing your truck to a company. Another type of the primary covers is the general liability insurance, which protects your business in the event of bodily injuries or property damage which does not involve the truck. Examples of such include contractual losses, a fall at the work place, or advertising-related exposures.
Truck Specific Insurance
Bobtail insurance covers a tractor when it is without a trailer. This occurs mostly when the vehicle is not under dispatch or after it delivers the load and travels back without cargo or a trailer. It is also referred to as deadbeat coverage. It is mostly confused with non-trucking liability insurance, which covers your truck when you are using it for non-business purposes such as a personal ride. In the event of an accident and your car is declared a total loss, limited depreciation insurance helps to cover the gap between what you owe on the vehicle and the fair market value that your insurance policy will likely pay you.
Another vehicle specific coverage is the mechanical breakdown insurance which helps you in out of pocket expenses if your vehicle needs repairs. Physical damage coverage, on the other hand, takes care of the vehicle when physical damage such as collision, fire or theft occur.
Cargo Specific Insurance
Motor truck cargo insurance is an excellent choice for for-hire truckers. It provides coverage for commodity and liability for the freight. This option ensures your insurance covers for losses that occur from collision, fire or workers strikes. Depending on the package you sign up for, it could cover debris removal and costs you incur to prevent further loss to damaged cargo, any freight charges you may lose, or legal defenses. Cargo insurance protects you against losses from damages to freight on transit.
Terminal and warehouse insurance protects cargo at specified terminals or warehouses in the event of a loss as relates to, for example, fire, theft, or sprinkler damage. Usually, there are many limitations related to these type of covers, and it is important to read and understand your policy before signing up. Non-owned trailer liability covers the trailer you are pulling for someone, and trailer-interchange liability insurance comes in handy when there is an interchange agreement in force like in the case of a steamship line. You can also take an optional downtime coverage which takes effect when your trucks undergo downtime.
There are many insurance options for a trucking business. Once you have evaluated your business needs and know what commercial truck insurance you need, it is essential to work with a brokerage who understands the industry to help you purchase the best coverage at the lowest premiums.