Choosing Insurance for Your Trucking Company

By: Michael Howe

Operating a trucking company is not that much different from operating other types of businesses.  The goal is profit, and you achieve this through sales and quality customer service.  It’s also similar in that there are regular expenses required to achieve those profits, and one of those expenses is insurance.  Protecting the business and limiting liability is an essential safeguard for any company, and some insurance types are required for the trucking industry.  The question then becomes, how do you choose the right insurance for your business – the options for policies, companies, and variety of coverages can make this process overwhelming.

One of the first things that needs to be accomplished is determining what coverage you need and want.  The answer to this will vary depending on the size of the company, type of operation, type of cargo being transported, and more.  Researching online or talking to an insurance broker or individual providers will help determine which coverages are needed.

Common coverages include:

  • General Liability Insurance – This is for common third-party lawsuits and covers incidents not directly related to operating the truck. Other basic items are also covered with this.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance – This is typically required if you have employees and will cover medical costs and protects against lawsuits if an employee has an injury or illness at work.
  • Motor Truck Cargo Insurance – This covers the cost to replace damaged or lost cargo, as well as legal expenses related to those issues.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance – This covers legal costs, medical expenses, and physical damage resulting from accidents.
  • Business Interruption Insurance – This will protect the company in the event a major disaster prevents the business from operating.

It will be important to make sure any insurance covers all aspects of the business – truck, trailer, employee, and operations.

One of the best ways to find the right insurance and the right insurance company is to simply ask other operators who they use.  The trucking community is a tight knit community, so asking other operators for advice or about their experience is a great approach.

Once you have a good idea about the coverage you might need and the providers you want to talk to, it’s time to compare policies.  Cost is often the number one consideration as it directly impacts the bottom line, but that should not be the only factor for consideration.  Compare the coverage limits, deductibles, various exclusions and limitations, terms and conditions and more.  The key is to determine which coverage best protects the business and is appropriate for the cost of operations.

Interestingly, some insurance providers offer a number of additional services that can be beneficial.  Safety training, risk management services, claims management, business training, and more are sometimes available at no additional cost.  Also look for discounts, such as multi-truck or safety related discounts.  Dive deep to find the right company and policy.

Regardless of which coverages and company you choose, also remember that the business and industry can and will evolve.  With this in mind, review the coverage annually and don’t be afraid to change it or to change the provider if needed.  Do what is best for the company to make certain it is protected and the most reasonable cost.

Be safe, be profitable, and be protected!

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