Every trucking business needs adequate insurance coverage whether it’s for one owner-operator or an entire fleet of trucks and drivers. Choosing coverage options isn’t always easy, though. There are a lot of companies out there offering insurance products, so business owners need to do some research before deciding which policies to take out.
Where to Go for Trucking Business Insurance Coverage
Some entrepreneurs assume that all they’ll need to start a trucking business is a basic policy obtained through a car insurance company. In fact, trucking business insurance coverage is far more specialized. Anyone who needs help finding semi truck insurance should consult a company that works exclusively with customers in the transportation industry.
Basic Insurance Coverage
Every business owner, including owner-operators, needs to have a commercial truck insurance policy in place before hitting the road. These policies usually combine commercial auto insurance with general liability insurance, both of which are essential for businesses that operate their own fleet vehicles as well as transportation companies.
Commercial auto insurance covers a predetermined amount of the legal costs, medical bills, and physical damage that result from accidents involving employees driving company-owned vehicles. Again, this includes owner-operators, who are technically small business owners. All policies must conform to established federal standards for minimum liability insurance levels.
General liability insurance is a necessity for business owners across all industries, regardless of whether they maintain fleet vehicles. It covers the costs associated with common third-party lawsuits, such as tort claims for property damage and injuries.
Common Coverage Options
Specialized semi-truck insurance coverage policies vary significantly in terms of what they cover, although all offer a level of vehicle and general liability insurance considered acceptable by state and federal standards. Other common coverage options to consider include:
- Physical damage coverage for damage that occurs during either accidents or other types of incidents.
Medical payments coverage for costs that arise as a result of injuries to truck drivers or their passengers.
Equipment coverage for driver-owned belongings and accessories kept on the truck.
Motor truck cargo coverage for loss or damage to clients’ cargo while it’s being loaded onto the truck.
Bobtail insurance for tractors that are not pulling trailers. This coverage option applies whether drivers are using the truck for work or personal use.
Occupational accident coverage for owner-operators to cover job-related injuries.
Non-owned trailer coverage for third-party trailers hitched to a company tractor.
Some business owners also take out policies not related to the trucks themselves. They can include commercial property insurance for warehouses and office buildings, cyber liability insurance to protect against losses due to cyber crimes, business interruption insurance to cover lost income and operating expenses when disasters hit, and more.
How to Choose an Insurance Service
Trucking businesses need multiple forms of specialized coverage if they want full protection, so it’s not smart to go through a general insurance agency. Instead, look for an insurance service that works primarily or exclusively with trucking businesses. The agents will be more experienced and better able to help business owners make informed decisions about policy options.
Start Looking Into Options
Whether business owners have just purchased their first company vehicles or already have entire fleets of trucks and want to explore different policies, the best time to start looking into options is now. Start by making a list of all the necessary forms of coverage, then compare it to the options offered by insurance agencies.