Three Questions that Owner Operators Need to Ask About Trucking Insurance
Three Questions that Owner Operators
Need to Ask About Trucking Insurance
Insurance is a necessity to any operating trucking company. Without it, you cannot be on the road making a profit for your business. That is why it’s essential to be knowledgeable on everything from how to budget for your initial insurance down payment to ensuring you have the correct coverage for your trucking business’s needs. Too many trucking companies have become a statistic because of overlooking a crucial detail about their insurance that cost them their business. In this article, we will share three questions that you need to ask as an owner operator about trucking insurance
Who Do I Call If I Have A Claim?
So the inevitable happens, and you find yourself in the aftermath of an accident while over the road. Your truck is out of commission, there are damages that need to be covered, repairs that need to be made, and you’re in a situation where you will need your trucking insurance. So who do you call? First and foremost, you don’t want to be figuring out the answer to this when you’re in the midst of dealing with the accident. That will only extend the amount of time it will take for you to get your truck repaired and back on the road making money.
Per FMCSA regulations, every owner operator must have insurance for both – liability and cargo. These are considered your two lines of coverage. If you have two separate providers for each line of coverage, then you will need to call both: the claim phone number for your cargo insurance AND your liability insurance, if you are involved in an accident. These numbers are provided by your insurance provider when you sign up. If you know in advance what type of policy you have and know the phone number(s) for each line of coverage to start a claim, then you eliminate half the battle of seeking insurance coverage after an accident. So go ahead, put those claim numbers on speed dial, you’ll thank us later.
Should I Renew My Insurance Policy?
Congratulations, you have gotten through the initial hurdles of selecting your insurance company, figuring out your policies, and budgeting not only for the down payment but the coverage costs for a whole year. Now you are ready to renew your policy, right? Well before you go on autopilot and immediately renew your policy for another year, take a second. Ask yourself, does my insurance still cover all the costs I need for my trucking business? About 60 days before renewal, make sure to have that valuable conversation with your agent about your business outlook for the next year. Reflect on any hardships from the previous year that your trucking company encountered. That way your agent knows your needs for the upcoming renewal. By keeping an open line of communication with your insurance provider, you can ensure you are receiving the best coverage for your business to succeed and expand over the next year.
Are There Any Exclusions to My Insurance?
It’s important to know if your insurance policy has any exclusions. Take Joe, an owner operator of XYZ Trucking. Joe has an opportunity to partner with another driver so that they can team drive out on the road. Joe already has purchased trucking insurance, so he should be set right? Wrong. Unfortunately, Joe’s new partner/team driver gets in a collision with a car over the road, and they need to put in an insurance claim to cover the repair costs and collateral damages. The only problem is Joe’s insurance has an exclusion that will not cover any damages if there is a passenger in the car. Now, it does not specifically state “team drivers” in the exclusion, but it doesn’t have to. The exclusion was a part of the insurance agreement Joe agreed to. If Joe didn’t verify with his insurance adjuster before implementing team driving, there are a number of different ways this could be handled when he attempts to have his claim paid out to cover costs. Joe runs the risk of being dropped by his insurance provider after the claim is paid out or his provider not covering the cost of the claim. Both are risks that should be avoided at all costs. Don’t be like Joe, make sure you know upfront what the exclusions are for your trucking insurance so that you aren’t rolling the dice with any of these three possible outcomes. If you don’t understand the terms, make it a priority to ask your insurance provider to explain it to you so you understand all circumstances you will or will not be covered.
The key factor of understanding your trucking insurance is not waiting until an accident to ask yourself these three questions. The longer it takes to process your claim correlates with how long your truck will be out of commission, losing money for your business. Trucking insurance can seem like a daunting topic to any owner operator, but it doesn’t have to be. By being proactive and educating yourself beforehand, you can be more prepared for the unexpected. When the unexpected happens, you can be sure your insurance provider will have your back.