Regarding owner operator truck insurance, there is no one-size-fits-all option. You’ll have several insurance alternatives according to the type of load, distance, experience level, and past driving record. In addition, insurance requirements differ by state, so check your state’s rules for your unique haul type and needs.
We chatted with numerous trucking insurance professionals, who gave their best advice for selecting insurance as an owner-operator. And in this blog, we will discuss those dos and don’ts that you, as an owner-operator, should consider while selecting truck insurance.
So, let’s dive into them.
Do’s and Don’ts While Choosing Truck Insurance as an Owner-Operator
Know the different types of coverage
We understand that selecting the right commercial truck insurance can be a daunting undertaking. You may surround yourself with a plethora of choices. This is why we urge that you do not make any hasty decisions and thoroughly understand the many types of truck coverage such as main liability, cargo insurance, bobtail coverage, non-trucking liability, physical damage, and more.
The right trucking insurance you will require as an owner-operator will depend on your company’s requirements. It is usually a good idea to consult with an insurance specialist before deciding on the best solution for your company. They will be likely to provide you with precise information about your case.
Factors that can affect truck insurance prices
Owner-operators trucking insurance varies substantially. Pricing is affected by the degree of insurance coverage required, but there are various other aspects to consider.
CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)
CDL experience is important in obtaining trucking insurance and price. Underwriters, for example, want to see at least three years of CDL expertise and a CDL license in the state where you operate. Drivers with fewer than three years of driving experience may have difficulty acquiring insurance from a transportation retailer.
Clean Driving Record
It is vital to have a clean driving record. Among other things, insurance companies will look at inspection reports, hours of service infractions, driver physical training, logbook violations, and vehicle maintenance records. They may also inspect your truck for proper signs and safety equipment such as halogen headlights or deer guards.
Years of industry experience
Experience is another element that provides a truck insurer confidence in what they’re going to insure. So, if you don’t have any expertise, there are locations where you can acquire insurance, but you’ll have to pay the piper.
The down payment is the last determining element in insurance prices. If you can afford the coverage premium as a whole, the insurance company may reduce the overall amount. The whole lump payment is a significant upfront expenditure, but it is typically less expensive in the long run.
Be aware of what your insurer is providing
When a trucking business owner steps into the market of truck insurers, you will see a plethora of truck insurance providers. So, when you go to your first insurer, it is critical to understand what services your insurance agent offers. In order to comprehend what is and what isn’t addressed, ask questions. For example, your insurance may not reimburse time spent going home while off duty.
Furthermore, ensure that the company has coverage levels that fit your unique business insurance requirements. Inadequate coverage can limit your ability to move specific kinds of freight and may have an impact on your bottom line.
Consider your long-term goals while deciding whether or not to get insurance from a provider. Will you continue to grow your company? If this is the case, you may benefit from a better insurance policy as an owner-operator to demonstrate your track record.
Get to know your deductibles
The deductible has a significant impact on auto insurance costs. A deductible is the sum of money that you must pay for an insured loss. When a natural catastrophe strikes your truck or you find your truck in an accident, the deductible is taken, or “subtracted,” from what your insurer pays toward a claim.
If you choose a high-deductible coverage, ensure that you have enough funds on hand to meet the deductible. For example, if your general liability coverage has a $4,000 deductible, your rates will be significantly lesser than a similar plan with an $800 deductible.
In rare situations, you may be able to adjust your deductible. Take special note of any policy modification costs. However, if lowering your deductible costs only a few dollars each month, it may be worthwhile to avoid getting to spend your own money on any liabilities.
Don’t overlook the claim settlement ratio
Many owner-operators overlook the importance of examining the claim settlement ratio, which is a big oversight. When purchasing truck insurance, you should know how their clients rate them in aspects of claiming services and customer engagement. Here are two main reasons why the claim settlement percentage matters:
Assess the insurer’s credibility
Truck insurance is an expensive undertaking. To reap the benefits of the coverage, you must invest a big number of premiums over a long period of time. So, if your reimbursement request is denied for any cause in the future, it might harm your company’s financial plan significantly. The settlement ratio is a rather accurate measurement tool that can tell you how authentic insurance is reliable. A ratio of 90-95% indicates that the coverage is appropriate for you.
Gives you peace of mind concerning your dependent company’s financial future
Monitoring the truck plan claim settlement ratio is critical to ensuring your business’s financial stability. The denial of an insurance claim is the very last thing you would want to deal with following the unexpected financial strain of your damaged asset (your truck) or the third-party loss (if involved in an accident) of a family member. It is your responsibility as a customer to ensure that your years of hard work don’t go in vain. When purchasing insurance, the settlement ratio might assist you to make the best option.
Commercial truck insurance is a necessary expense for an owner-operator, but you can minimize these risks and expenses by understanding the dos and don’ts. In addition to what you need, your driving history should be clean, and your credit should be excellent. Moreover, it never kills to glance around from time to time. Discuss any reductions you may be entitled to with your truck insurer on a regular basis.