If you are in a vehicle that is on the road, you need insurance according to the law. However, commercial truck drivers must have insurance not only to meet the requirements of the law, but also to have a successful business. All of the intricacies of commercial truck insurance make it more complicated than normal car insurance, so if you are a trucker, you need to know how it works in order to get the best possible price on your insurance.
When buying truck insurance, start by choosing the deductible. This is an important consideration. You need to choose a deductible that makes the premium affordable for you. Keep in mind that the higher your deductible, the lower the premium, but if there is a problem with your truck you will have to pay the entire deductible amount out of your own pocket before the insurance sets in. You should make sure that you choose a deductible amount that you can realistically afford in case of an accident.
Often you can save money if you get a combined deductible. This will cover not only the truck, but also the trailer and its contents. Without a combined deductible you would be paying one deductible for each of these items separately. This really ads up quickly.
Make sure you get a reliable agent. If you get a great deal on your truck insurance, yet the agent is never around to help you when there is a problem, it is going to hurt your business. If you are not sure who to contact for your insurance needs, talk to other truckers you know who can recommend someone to you.
Take some time after getting these referrals to shop around. After all, you can get your trucking insurance many different ways. If you work for a trucking company, they often have insurance options. You may be able to get affordable insurance through a finance company or through tucking associations. Check out all of your options, and compare both prices and features. You will easily see where the best value lies when you look at everything you have offered to you.
By federal law you must have primary auto liability insurance. This only covers injury to someone else or his or her vehicle if you cause an accident. Even if you do not own the equipment you drive, you must have this coverage. However, the company who owns your equipment may provide this for you, so check first before buying any.
Physical damage insurance is the type that covers your truck and your trailer. This is not a requirement according to law, but if you do not completely own your equipment, you will likely have to have it because of the stipulations put on you by the company who controls your loan. This coverage is more expensive than liability coverage, and it is often figured based on the price of the truck according to the market value. If you have this coverage and are involved in an accident where your truck is damaged, the insurance will cover the cost of repairs after you pay your deductible. This protects the investment you have made in your truck, and it also protects the investment your finance company has made in your loan, which is why they require this coverage most of the time.
Your cargo is another consideration you have when purchasing truck insurance. Most of the time you will be transporting thousands of dollars worth of cargo. If you are in an accident and your trailer tips, the refrigerator unit is damaged, or your cargo doors open, you may be responsible for the damaged cargo, depending on the agreement you have with the company shipping the goods. Cargo insurance will cover loss or damage of your cargo during transport.
If you are shopping for cargo insurance, keep in mind that not all types of loss are covered. For example, some carriers will not cover situations when your cargo is lost or damaged when your vehicle is not attended. Be sure to check these limitations and get the best coverage you can afford. Also, you may find that there is a limit on the amount you can claim under your cargo insurance policy.
Terminal coverage is another type of cargo insurance, which simply covers the cargo when it is at a specific terminal. This type of insurance almost always has a time limit, such as three to six days. This protects you when you get to your destination or before you leave your starting place. Also, if you need to temporarily store the cargo it would be protected with this type of policy.
The final type of cargo insurance you may want to consider is warehouse legal. Warehouse legal protects cargo if you need to store it for a longer period of time than is covered in the terminal coverage insurance policy. This is a type of insurance you may not need for every load, but only for those loads you intend to store at some point.