One size fits all solution doesn’t work in the trucking industry. This is because there is n number of insurance coverages available for owner-operator as well as small businesses. Based on the type of commercial vehicle you own, the quantity and the type of cargo you haul, the driving record of the driver, range of operating radius, etc. the coverage of truck insurance is decided. In addition, the requirement of owner-operator insurance varies from state to state. So you will have to check what is your state requirement.
To carry your business successfully, you need the right amount of coverage in your trucking insurance. Whether you are an independent trucker or an owner-operator, you need to obtain a certain amount of coverage that protects you and your business from several possibilities on and off the road. An adequate amount of insurance safeguards your investment and offers a financial cushion when you suffer hefty losses in an accident. However, when it comes to choosing coverage, many people get puzzled as there are several options in commercial truck insurance. Don’t worry! We will help you decide the best owner-operator insurance plan that works for your business and suits its needs.
What type of truck insurance does the owner-operator need?
The type and the amount of coverage that a driver needs in trucking insurance depend on several aspects. If you are exposed to the risks too much like hauling hazardous or fragile material then you should think of taking blanket coverage. Whereas if you think that a decent amount of insurance will do then you can check for other options that provide a fair amount of protection. You can have a look at some insurance options and pick according to your needs:
- Liability insurance: It is a mandated coverage that protects the public from property and physical damages.
- Cargo insurance: This coverage protects the shipment against risks of theft, vandalism, fire, etc.
- Non-trucking liability: This policy pays for the expenses that you suffer while doing the non-commercial activity. Like driving for personal use or when the vehicle is not under dispatch.
- Workman compensation coverage: This policy pays for the property damage and physical injury that your trucker face in an accident.
Now you know what type of coverage you need as an owner-operator. Let us check out how you can get the right and the best owner-operator insurance plan for your business.
1. Type of trucks
As already mentioned, your vehicle coverage depends on its type. Check whether your commercial truck is heavy-duty, lighter, or something in between. When you categorize your truck under this class then you can easily narrow down the research according to its type. This sorting will help you to figure out what type of truck insurance you really need. Once you do it, you will clearly see what type of truck you own and get insurance quotes according to your requirement. This step will make your quest of finding the best coverage easier.
2. Suitable coverage within budget
You already know that the cost of truck insurance is expensive. But the price greatly depends on the model of the vehicle, the cargo you haul, and the age of the driver. If you have paid a higher price for a truck purchase then expect to pay costly premiums. Whereas if you own a lighter truck then the cost of insurance premiums will be lower. While comparing, don’t just go by the tag because many insurers charge hidden costs that raise the cost of insurance. So check all these factors because you would not want to pay an amount that digs a hole in your wallet. Buy appropriate coverage that falls under your budget.
3. Insurer’s reputation
Unquestionably, you should always partner with a reputed insurance provider. Check for how many years the company has been doing this business and how sturdy its financial strength is. Experience indicates reliability and competency to pay out insurance claims. According to many financial experts, an insurance company should have 5 or more years of experience in the field. Along with experience, the past claiming a record, agents qualification, and level of customer satisfaction also matters.
4. Level of coverage
Commercial truck insurance is quite similar to a car policy that protects the insured from accidents, theft, damage, and other liabilities. You need to check what sort of coverage you need to get for your commercial vehicle. Analyze the terms and conditions and limitations in trucking policy. See all the exclusions and inclusions of the truck coverage. Now see what level of coverage you require as an owner-operator. Consider choosing the policy that addresses your need.
5. Settlement of insurance
As already said, your insurer should be able to settle all your claims at the time of need. The credibility of an insurance company depends on the speed of settling their client’s claim requests. No matter how small or big coverage you require for your fleet, your research should include this aspect to get the best out of your money spent. Checking the insurance company’s financial well-being is as important as other steps in getting the best owner-operator insurance plan.
6. Know your requirement
Knowing your needs will help you narrow down your options and get the best deal. Always remember, every insurer is different from the others. Therefore, comparing each option would be beneficial for you. Don’t just go by the price tag. You need to review all the inclusions and exclusions before partnering with any insurer. Also, check if the insurance company is including any hidden charges.
Choosing the correct and adequate insurance coverage is vital for your trucking business. You cannot take unnecessary add-ons in your coverage or opt for less. In both cases, you will either pay higher premiums for a policy that you don’t even need or your insurance fails to provide needed financial support after the mishap.
Insuring your hard-earned investment is a necessity. Its premium might hit you financially every month but it proves to be very advantageous in the long run. Therefore, try to get the best coverage and the most out of your money spent.