Commercial truck insurance coverage is an essential kind of insurance that shields you from expensive costs if your truck is involved in a crash. If you drive an individual auto or truck, you possibly already know that you need some kind of car insurance policy to lawfully stay on the roadway.
Commercial truck insurance policy covers situations in which you use your truck for moving customers, pets, materials or products. If you use your truck for both personal as well as expert functions, a commercial insurance coverage fills out the spaces left by your individual auto insurance.
Commercial Truck Insurance vs. Automobile Insurance policy
Whether you utilize an entire fleet of commercial flatbed trucks or a solitary pickup, as quickly as you clock in for job, you need commercial insurance coverage. The difference between commercial insurance policy and also personal cars and truck insurance coverage appears basic on the start-- personal insurance covers individual journeys, while commercial insurance covers commercial trips and also automobiles.
However, if you leave a job website with a truck filled with devices to go get fast food for lunch, how are you covered?
Particular types of vehicles require commercial insurance policy regardless of just how they're used. This is since individual car insurance coverage is ranked to represent the average auto accident. As quickly as you start purchasing a commercial truck insurance policy, you'll promptly notice that plans are much more costly than what you pay on your individual lorry.
This is due to the fact that commercial vehicles have a tendency to be heavier as well as harder to steer-- which raises their possibilities of being associated with a more expensive crash. Your commercial truck insurance plan will include restrictions that are a lot more than your standard car policy.
In addition to higher limitations, commercial truck insurance coverage also has a variety of other benefits for company owners and independent operators. Your commercial insurance coverage is thought about overhead as well as you may be able to subtract your costs from your insurance coverage. If you own a vehicle that's only used for work, you can deduct 100% of the cost of your insurance from your federal income taxes.
Commercial policies may cover either named employees or blanket coverage for all of your employees. This is different than standard personal policies, which require you to name all of your insured drivers. This can be especially beneficial for large business owners who need to maintain their insurance with a high turnover rate.
Finally, commercial truck insurance covers structures and fixtures that aren't covered by standard auto insurance. For example, if you have your own towing company and you have a pickup truck with a crane attached, a commercial policy will cover damage to both the body of your truck and your crane. A personal auto insurance policy would likely not cover this type of vehicle.
What Is and Isn't Covered
Like with your personal auto insurance policy, there are a few different types of commercial truck insurance. What is and isn't covered under your commercial truck insurance depends on the type of coverage you buy.
Some of the most common types of commercial policies you'll see with both cars and trucks include the following.
Personal and property liability coverage compensates other property owners and drivers if you're involved in an accident. You're legally required to have liability insurance to drive a car or a truck. Most insurance companies sell personal and property liability together as a single policy.
Collision coverage provides you with compensation for repair bills if your truck is involved in an accident.
Comprehensive coverage protects you against damage from non-accident related incidents. Some of the most common comprehensive insurance claims include damage from vandalism, theft, and natural disasters like fires and thunderstorms.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage pays you for medical and repair bills if you're involved in an accident with a driver who doesn't have coverage.
Here are some coverages you may only see only for commercial trucks.
Non-trucking insurance covers you when you take your truck on personal trips. If you have a truck that requires a commercial policy due to weight but you still use it on your off days, you should get non-trucking insurance coverage.
Motor truck cargo insurance covers the value of the product or materials you carry in your truck. If your vehicle is involved in an accident and your product is destroyed, motor truck cargo insurance will reimburse you for what you've lost.
Rental reimbursement insurance. If you depend upon your truck for your day-to-day business, a serious accident can mean days or even weeks of lost income. Rental reimbursement coverage provides you with money to rent a replacement truck while your vehicle is being repaired.
Commercial truck insurance usually doesn't cover:
Intentionally-caused damage. This is damage you intentionally cause to your truck and it isn't covered under any policy.
Personal items. Most commercial truck insurance policies don't include coverage for personal items in your vehicle. To learn more visit: https://www.socaltruckins.com/commercial-truck-insurance/
How Much is Commercial Truck Insurance?
Commercial truck insurance is significantly more expensive than both personal car insurance and commercial car insurance. Experts estimate that the average semi-truck owner pays between $9,000 and $15,000 per year for insurance. Higher policy limits, specialized license laws, awkward truck bodies and high weights are just a few of the contributing factors that make commercial truck insurance so expensive.
Like personal auto insurance policies, the amount that you'll pay for your insurance depends on a number of factors, including:
Do You Need to Get Commercial Truck Insurance?
Not many drivers would argue that commercial policy isn't necessary on a semi. But what if your landscaping business only uses a single pickup truck?
Do you really need to pitch for a commercial policy? If you only have a single pickup truck and you use the vehicle for both personal and professional use, you may be able to get away with a single personal policy. However, this depends on exactly how and where you use your vehicle. Before you buy a commercial policy, consider the following factors.
Personal policies don't cover trucks that require a special license to drive. If you need a commercial driver's license (CDL) to operate your truck, you need a commercial policy.
What you carry
If you use your truck to carry clients, materials, products, or equipment during the workday, you need a commercial policy.
Your vehicle's weight
Part of the reason why commercial policies are so expensive is that they cover very heavy vehicles that can cause more damage. If your truck weighs more than 10,000 pounds or has a load capacity of over 2,000 pounds, you need a commercial policy.
Your vehicle's modifications
If your truck has a special modification like a ladder rack or a cement mixer, your vehicle won't be protected under a personal auto policy. To know more about your vehicle's modification visit: https://www.socaltruckins.com/commercial-truck-insurance/
How to Get Commercial Truck Insurance
Getting commercial truck insurance is very similar to signing up for personal car insurance or private health insurance. If you already have car insurance, you're probably already familiar with the process of getting commercial insurance.
First, research insurance providers that operate in your area. Note that not every insurer that offers commercial car insurance is also certified to offer truck insurance.
Next, start collecting quotes. A quote is a professional estimate of how much you can pay in monthly premiums and deductibles with each company. Insurance providers offer quotes for free online and over the phone. The best way to make sure you're getting the best offer possible is by getting more than a few quotes, so try to get several.
After that, compare and read policy options and choose the one that's right for you.
Finally, contact the insurance company. A representative will help you get signed onto your new policy. Write down the date that your new policy goes into effect-- most new commercial policies have a waiting period of 7 to 30 days, during which you can't file a claim and may be dropped for poor driving habits. If you already have a policy, wait to cancel it until your new policy goes into effect.
What to Look for in a Company
Some things that you should look for in a great commercial truck insurance policy include the following options.
Discount options. Commercial truck insurance can be very expensive-- especially if you're an independent owner-operator and you don't have a corporation that foots your insurance bills. Look for policies that offer you ways to save. From maintaining a safe driving record to discounts for getting additional safety licenses, the best policy providers offer you plenty of ways to save.
Coverage for your current truck. While every insurance provider will offer coverage for pickup trucks, some providers might have limitations on specialized vehicles like dump trucks and semis. Understand the exact make and model of your vehicle and look for an insurer who offers protection for your investment.
Coverages across the country. Every insurance company isn't authorized to operate in every state-- and with a commercial truck, you may have areas of the country excluded from your policy. Look for companies that provide coverage in as many states as possible for greater protection.
When you have trucks on the road every day, you want the best and cheap commercial truck insurance you can find. A semi-truck insurance is more than just protection in the case of accidents, theft, and acts of nature.
Your insurance company is more like a partner in your business than just a third-party provider. With that in mind, you don’t want to only partner with anyone. Instead, you need a professional and experienced provider in your passenger seat that will help your business along the path to success.
Here are some of the most essential characteristics you should look for in a semi-truck insurance provider:
What to Look For in a Semi-Truck Insurance Provider
1. Knowledge of The Trucking Industry
There are tons of insurance providers out there, but they’re not equally skilled and experienced in your area of business. You should consider an insurance provider’s breadth and knowledge in your industry.
The biggest question you should ask is if the company is trying to sell your product or if they truly know your business because this makes a huge difference in the end.
Are you a short-haul or long haul driver? Are you an owner-operator or do you employ drivers? The answer to these questions can make a significant difference in what you need from an insurance company.
Look for a company that is an expert in your industry, not just a company with flashy advertising and a promise of cheapest commercial truck insurance.
2. Appropriate Coverage
An insurance provider that knows your business should also be able to offer you the appropriate kind of insurance for your needs. If an insurance company tries to only provide a cookie-cutter and a one-size-fits-all policy, drive away! Your business has unique needs and requires an insurance policy that is customized for you.
While you may only be legally required to carry liability insurance, you may also want or need additional coverage. If you need cargo coverage, make sure that it’s customized to the kind of cargo you’re carrying and not just a generic cargo policy.
Your insurance provider should not just offer a variety of coverages that will suit your needs but should also be able to explain all of the options. They should even be able to recommend which coverages make the most sense for you.
3. Stellar Customer Service
It’s easy to overlook the importance of customer service when looking for cheap commercial trucking insurance. If you consider your insurance carrier more of a partner than a vendor, you’ll start to see just how an outstanding service can make a huge difference in running your business.
Imagine having an accident and needing to file a claim in the middle of the night on a Friday, and getting your claim filed promptly explains the difference between getting the cargo delivered on time or seeing a delay. This is when you’ll regret signing up with a company that is only available during regular business hours on weekdays.
You also need a company that can make changes to your policy on a moment’s notice. You may get an opportunity to take a profitable job without the need to increase your coverage before accepting the cargo. If your insurance company has a long process to make changes to your policy, it could mean losing the job.
4. Additional Services
Some insurance carriers offer semi truck insurance and nothing else. These kinds of companies may be sufficient for your needs. At the same time, you could benefit from working with an insurance company that offers a bit more.
It is crucial to look for things like accident prevention advice, safety consultations, USDOT compliance audits, and more. The more your provider knows about the trucking industry, the more they may be able to offer advice on issues specific to your business, even if those issues aren’t insurance-related.
5. Affordable Pricing
While price shouldn’t be the only factor to consider when choosing a semi-truck insurance company, the cost does play a huge role in your decision.
The reality is that commercial trucking insurance is a necessary part of your overall budget. Just because it’s required doesn’t mean you have to pay whatever price a company advertises.
Saving money by finding cheap commercial truck insurance will make an overarching impact on your bottom line.
To understand where your price comes, it’s best to examine how premium costs are decided and there are a variety of elements that insurance companies look at to determine what to charge, such as:
Your insurance company should be open to having an honest conversation about why your premium is priced as it is. They should also be willing to discuss ways you can save on your overall premium.
Even if your company doesn’t have specials or promos to advertise, they can explore higher deductibles, safety training, and other options that can bring down your overall price.
6. Tremendous Value
At the end of the day, everything comes together to create an insurance company’s value. You have to compare the cost of your insurance compared to what you get for that price.
Companies that offer excellent customer service, years of experience, knowledge of your industry, and cheap commercial truck insurance are considered to be of high value.
Your goal is to get the exact coverage that you need — nothing more or nothing less. A reputable company of value is more interested in creating a long-term partnership with you than simply making a quick buck. Meaning, they’ll offer more to make it beneficial for you.
Choose the Right Truck Insurance for Your Coverage Needs
Whether you’re shopping around for the first time or simply want to know your options, make sure to check out SoCal Truck Insurance. We not only offer the cheapest commercial truck insurance around, but we do our best to create the best value you’ll find anywhere.
If you’re a business owner looking for cheap commercial truck insurance to protect your company, there is a great deal of information you’ll need to know in order to make the right decision.
Of course, you’ll want to do your research, read reviews, and get recommendations to gather the information that you need to know. At the same time, you should also plan on having direct conversations with your insurance provider.
Here are some of the most crucial questions you should be asking:
What to Ask Your Truck Insurance Provider
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
While your state may mandate a certain level of liability coverage to operate, doing business with just the minimum coverage still puts your business at risk. Your insurance carrier should know the trucking business well enough to know what kinds of insurance will suit you best.
It is essential to take some time and discuss the specifics of your business, the kinds of materials you haul, the routes you take, and more with your insurance carrier. They should be able to walk you through the different options you should consider. This includes the different types and varying amounts of coverage that are right for you.
You can take what your insurance carrier tells you and do some additional research or even ask for a second opinion by shopping around. You’re under no obligation to accept your provider’s advice, but it’s certainly worth listening to what they have to say.
What Is and Isn’t Covered by My Plan?
Understanding your policy is a key step in deciding if you have the appropriate insurance for your needs.
Keep in mind that every policy is a little different, so you can’t expect your current plan to match something you’ve had in the past. Feel free to run specific scenarios by your agent to see how your current plan works.
Let’s say that your company hauls hazardous materials. You and your provider should come up with a variety of plans ranging from tame to worst-case scenario situations. You should be able to walk away knowing every kind of incident covered by your plan, or what kind of risks you will be taking on without additional coverage.
Do You Offer Cargo Coverage?
There are different levels of risk because different kinds of cargo carriers deal with a lot of varieties. A truck full of livestock has vastly different risks than driving a tanker truck full of gasoline.
Your primary liability or cheap commercial truck insurance won’t automatically cover your cargo. Since it’s your business on the line if something happens, it’s always prudent to explore different cargo coverage options.
Do You Offer Combined Deductibles?
Unfortunately, some accidents cause damage to your truck, other vehicles, your cargo, and more. Each type of damage has its own liability but may require a separate deductible. Therefore, setting up your insurance plan like this might help you save money on monthly premiums.
Some policies allow you to combine deductibles, this means you’re only responsible for paying a single deductible no matter which coverage comes into play. This often makes the entire process more straightforward and can save you money in the long run.
How Do I Submit an Insurance Claim?
You should always consider submitting a claim as soon as possible. The faster the claim is filed, the faster it can be settled.
You’ll want to know the exact process of how to submit your claim. It is wise to determine if there are only certain hours where claims are handled or if your insurance carrier has 24/7 service hours.
On top of knowing the process for submitting a claim, make sure to note what they expect from you. For example, your drivers may want to ensure they have their policy ID ready for any claims. This might change how you train your drivers or how you store information in house.
How Quickly Can I Change My Policy?
Even if your company doesn’t change the type of cargo it carries on a regular basis, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to add or drop a particular kind of coverage.
You’ll want to know the process on how to make changes and the time needed for it to take effect. Having this information lets you determine the timeline you’ll need.
Ideally, your insurance carrier will be able to make changes at a moment’s notice. You want the flexibility to take a new job or add a higher-level of coverage without having to wait.
What Options Are There for Paying My Premium?
Nearly every commercial trucking insurance company offers options to pay your premiums. It’s almost never required that you pay a certain way. There may be, however, benefits to paying more significant portions at once.
Some companies offer a discount for paying by the year or by the half. You should also have the option to make smaller monthly installments.
It is important to learn about all of your options and one of the best ways to maintain cheap commercial truck insurance is to take advantage of any discounts that are available. This could mean paying in full each year but explore your options before making a decision.
How Are My Premiums Determined? Is There a Way to Save?
Reducing costs means understanding what goes into your premiums. Insurance companies evaluate a number of factors to come up with your price: driving records, credit scores, driving experience, cargo carried, and more. Look at what your insurance cares about most.
Moreover, it is wise to make sure to ask your insurance carrier about ways you can lower your premiums. There may be discounts or programs available that can help you save. Your agent might be able to point at specific things that will help save.
For example, building a safety program could help reduce costs by simply lowering the number of claims your company makes. You can also discuss how different deductible levels impact your monthly payments. In any case, you may not know about the best ways to save until you ask.
Read more: Ways to Lessen Your Truck Insurance Premium
Get Cheap Commercial Truck Insurance
One of the best ways to save money on your insurance premiums is to work with one of the best insurance providers around. SoCal Truck Insurance has been helping companies get the coverage they need at prices they can afford for years.
If you’re a commercial driver or you own a trucking business in California, it is essential to have high-quality but cheap commercial truck insurance for your business. Additionally, you may be required to have and display a California Motor Vehicle Permit Number, also known as a CA Number.
What You Need to Know About CA Numbers
What Exactly is a Motor Vehicle Permit Number?
If you’ve seen California trucks on the road, you may have noticed the numbers on their doors. These numbers are part of a motor carrier permit issued by the DMV.
The permit and accompanying numbers are proof that the vehicle has met all of the statutory requirements to operate on California highways. Your permit contains information unique to your truck and business, including name, mailing address, dates of the permit, etc.
The CA Number should appear on the lower area of your cab doors with high contrast lettering and people should be able to read your CA number from at least 50 feet away.
Typically, your company’s official name will appear along with the CA number.
Who Needs a CA Number?
There are two main instances when a truck requires a CA Number:
Who Does Not Need a CA Number?
Unlike having commercial trucking insurance in California, CA numbers are not required for every driver.
Here are some examples of vehicles that don’t need to be registered:
How to Get a Motor Carrier Permit?
A permit and CA number are required before vehicles can be operated in California. Just like how commercial trucking insurance in California is required before a vehicle hits the road, you’ll want to have your CA number before you start a business. The permit is good for a full year.
To get your CA number, you must supply several documents to the DMV:
Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a CA number and permit at your local DMV office. All of the paperwork has to go through the DMV headquarters in Sacramento.
You can send your paperwork to the following address:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Motor Carrier Services Branch
Motor Carrier Permit Operations
PO. Box 932370 – MS G875, Sacramento, CA 94232-3700
Department of Motor Vehicles
Motor Carrier Services Branch
Motor Carrier Permit Operations
2415 1st Avenue – MS G875, Sacramento, CA 95818
If you’re in the Sacramento area, you can drop off your paperwork in their motor carrier permit dropbox:
Department of Motor Vehicles – Building West Lobby
2570 24th Street., Sacramento, CA 95818
Commercial Trucking Insurance: California Requirements
The level of liability insurance you’ll need can range from $300,000 to $5,000,000 depending on the type of vehicles you operate and the kind of property being transported. You must provide proof of insurance to obtain your permit.
Traveling with only liability insurance may help you meet the state’s minimum requirements, but it leaves your company in a considerable position of risk.
The best way to make sure that you’re getting cheap commercial truck insurance is to get quotes from multiple companies.
Of course, you need to be certain that you’re comparing similar types of coverage. One company may have a lower price, but require a higher deductible or not include elements of coverage offered somewhere else.
Read more: Ways to Lessen Your Truck Insurance Premium
Choose the Right Commercial Truck Insurance Company
Quality coverage is more than just finding cheap commercial truck insurance rates. You also need to consider the kind of service you can expect and the company’s history, reputation, and understanding of your industry.
An exceptional insurance carrier that knows the trucking industry can even offer advice on getting your CA number.
Luckily, SoCal Truck Insurance has a long-standing history of helping truckers and trucking companies get the right kind of commercial trucking insurance they need without paying for unnecessary extras.
If you’re shopping around or are ready to make a change, give us a call to get your free quote today.
Often, there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to motor truck cargo insurance. Companies and owner-operators looking for their cheapest truck insurance options may be tempted to forego adding this coverage to their policy in hopes of saving money.
However, skipping this crucial coverage could cost exponentially more in the long run. Here is what you need to know about motor truck cargo insurance and what it covers.
What You Need to Know About Motor Truck Cargo Insurance
What Exactly is Motor Truck Cargo Insurance?
Cargo insurance is a type of coverage that protects the owner of the goods being shipped as well as the insured parties — usually the driver and his company. The cargo that you haul belongs to someone else, so they’ll want assurance that it will be delivered as promised.
While all truckers are required to carry some form of liability insurance, this carrier coverage is often limited in that it mainly covers damage to other people or property. This kind of insurance does not cover the cargo being carried.
Motor truck cargo insurance, on the other hand, is additional insurance added to your policy to protect the goods you’re transporting.
Cargo insurance was created to cover for-hire truckers who operate tractor-trailers, cargo vans, box trucks, car haulers, and so on. Instead of offering a broader coverage that could lead to overpaying for insurance you don’t need, it’s designed to cover specific shipments for the life of the policy.
What is Covered Under Motor Truck Cargo Insurance?
Your specific coverage will vary depending on your unique plan. In general, your policy will cover risks and losses to your cargo like fire, collisions, theft, water damage, equipment failure, vandalism, refrigeration breakdown, and more.
Some coverage will even cover the removal of debris and pollutant clean up after an accident.
Types of Cargo Insurance
To help standardize and control shipments across state lines, there are two main types of cargo insurance: land and marine.
Land cargo is meant to protect the haul during any kind of land transportation. Typically, land cargo coverage only works within the U.S. borders and not internationally, although there may be exceptions.
Marine cargo is meant to protect the haul while being transported on the sea. Most truckers won’t have to worry about carrying this kind of insurance, but it’s helpful to know that it exists.
Read more: What’s in the Box? Types of Cargo Explained
Are There Restrictions For Motor Cargo Insurance?
Not all types of cargo or situations can necessarily be covered by a cargo policy. There are typically other types of coverage that can kick in during these unique circumstances.
Unattended Vehicle Exclusion
Most policies do not cover a vehicle that has been left unattended. This doesn’t mean that the driver can’t stop for a shower, bite to eat, or a trip to the restroom. Typically, a vehicle is considered unattended if left for an extended period of time. If damage happens during a time when the cargo was left unattended, your cargo insurance may not cover the goods.
Not all types of commodities are eligible for coverage under a cargo insurance policy. Items like jewelry, money, contraband, animals, tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, and explosives may not be covered. The types of cargo that are excluded from coverage vary from carrier to carrier and policy to policy.
The bottom line is that you need to know what your policy covers and if there are any restrictions or exclusions for your next job. You may need to purchase additional insurance, raise your limits, or come up with other safeguards to protect your haul.
Motor cargo truck insurance is not the same as commercial trucking insurance. There’s no question that all of the different types of insurance available to truckers can be a bit confusing. So, here are some things to consider to help understand the difference:
Commercial Truck Insurance
The base-level commercial trucking insurance policy consists of liability insurance that will pay out damage you cause to other people or their property. This kind of insurance is required by law in nearly every state.
Of course, commercial trucking insurance can cover other things as well. Policies can include comprehensive insurance that pays for repairs to your vehicle for non-collision accidents, like a tree falling on your truck.
There are also a variety of specialized coverages that can deal with the type of truck you drive, the cargo you haul, and more.
Motor truck cargo insurance is one of these unique add-ons that work with your general commercial truck policy and there are variations within what cargo insurance covers, but it’s meant to protect the goods you’re hauling.
Truckers who are dealing with hauling cargo should consider adding motor truck cargo insurance coverage to their existing commercial policy. Whether you’re loading expensive items like computers or bulk items to a clothing store, you don’t want to be on the hook for replacing the cargo if something happens.
How Does Cargo Insurance Work?
The trucking company buys a policy from their insurance carrier. Prudent business managers and owner-operators get multiple quotes to find their cheapest truck insurance option. The policy will then cover the cargo up to a specific monetary limit.
If there is loss or damage to the cargo, a copy of the bill of goods must be provided to the claims adjuster. This paperwork will indicate the cargo, amount of the coverage, the dates the coverage applies, the destination, and other vital information.
Find the Cheapest Trucking Insurance Today
Whether you’re looking to overhaul your entire commercial trucking policy or want to do your due diligence in finding a great motor truck cargo insurance, make sure you shop around. The price of your cargo policy often includes the types of cargo being transported, the value of the cargo, and the destination.
Find the best insurance at the lowest rates by calling SoCal Truck Insurance today! We not only offer more kinds of coverage you need but can also help advise you on the best way not to overpay for your insurance.
Let us show you more ways you can save. You owe it to your company to find the cheapest truck insurance policy that will both protect your cargo and save your company money.
Get your free quote today by stopping by the SoCal Truck Insurance website or giving us a call!
The post What Items Does Motor Truck Cargo Insurance Cover? appeared first on SoCal Truck Insurance.
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