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pradmin32, Author at InsureTrucking.com

Author pradmin32

Tow truck insurance is necessary for any business that tows vehicles. Even if it isn’t your core service, you need to protect yourself, your workers, and your assets in case of an accident.

Tow trucks are heavy and are usually carrying or dragging another vehicle with them. This creates a greater risk for incidents. It’s also risky for workers. Nonfatal injury rates were just above 204 per 10,000 full-time workers. That may not sound like a lot until you compare the stats to other professions. Other industries have a nonfatal injury rate of 98 per 10,000.

The death rates aren’t any better. A total of 191 towing employees were killed between 2011 and 2016, giving the industry an annual rate of 43 deaths per 100,000 fulltime workers. Other U.S. private industries combined had an annual death rate of 2.9 per 100,000.

Towing services are essential to communities. They keep roadways clear and help people get assistance after a breakdown or accident. While businesses and industry leaders try to find ways to improve safety measures, every company that tows vehicles must have adequate tow truck insurance.

Is Tow Truck Insurance Required?

Federal law states that tow truck drivers are required to have auto liability coverage. The minimum coverage limits will vary from state to state. You should check your local area or ask your insurer for more information. Some states also require medical payment coverage.

If you have employees, then you need a workers’ compensation policy along with your tow truck insurance. This will pay for medical expenses if an employee is hurt while on the job. It also protects your business from expensive lawsuits. Most states require workers’ compensation coverage for any company with one or more workers.

Types of Tow Truck Insurance

Multiple types of tow truck insurance are available. You may or may not need them all. It’s important to have a basic understanding of what each covers so you are aware of what might be required when you look into quotes. The types include:

  • Auto Liability – Auto liability will pay for property damage and physical injury if you are the at-fault driver. It will also pay for your legal fees if you are sued because of a tow truck accident.
  • Comprehensive – Comprehensive coverage will pay to replace or repair your tow truck after an incident that isn’t a collision. This policy is meant for incidents related to theft, animal damage, falling objects, or fire.
  • Collision – Collision insurance pays for tow truck repair or replacement after an accident.
  • Medical Payment – Medical payment insurance will cover medical expenses for you and any passengers that were involved in an accident. That includes customers who may be riding along while their vehicle is being towed.
  • On-Hook Insurance – On-hook insurance pays to replace or repair vehicles that are damaged while they are hooked to your tow truck. This type of coverage is called garagekeepers in Virginia and Texas.
  • Garagekeepers Legal Liability – Garagekeepers insurance pays for damage to a vehicle that’s being serviced or stored by your business. This coverage is called storage location insurance in Virginia and Texas.
  • Uninsured Motorist – Uninsured motorist coverage will pay for any injury caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or in hit-and-run situations.

Keep in mind that tow truck insurance doesn’t necessarily cover every expense after an incident. It does not pay for damages related to intentional harm and may not cover certain types of cargo like jewelry, money, alcohol, explosives, tobacco, and pharmaceutical drugs. Hazmat insurance is required if you are handling or working around hazardous materials.

How Much Does Tow Truck Insurance Cost?

The cost of tow truck insurance will vary depending on your business needs. The national average cost for basic coverage was $450 or $4,500 to $5,000 per year in 2020. That estimate was for one truck and basic roadside and recovery towing.

General liability policies for a small business with minimum coverage usually cost between $97 and $159 per month.

You will need to provide the specifics of your situation for an accurate quote. For example, a business that does auto repair and bodywork that operates a tow truck to support its repair business will pay an average of $7,500 per truck per year.

Companies that use tow trucks for repossession purposes should expect to pay around $10,000 per truck annually. That’s because repossession work comes with more risks than those who tow for a repair service.

Several factors affect your tow truck insurance premiums, including location, emergency hours, type of towing, number of drivers, company safety policies, length of time in business, and driving records.

How to Get a Tow Truck Insurance Quote

Getting a tow truck insurance quote is easy thanks to the internet. The fastest way to get a personalized estimate is to visit InsureTrucking.com. Click on the “Get a Quote Now” button to get started.

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Tow truck insurance is essential for anyone who owns and operates this kind of vehicle. Tow trucks are a necessary part of keeping our roadways clear and safe. They remove disabled vehicles, so they don’t remain obstacles for other drivers.

It isn’t an easy job and one that comes with risks. According to AAA, a tow truck driver is killed every six days. They are considered a type of emergency vehicle but aren’t always treated that way. This can put the truck and driver at risk while handling jobs on the road.

Starting a towing business takes a lot of money. A new tow truck costs between $50,000 and $100,000, with some models going much higher. Buying a towing license in most urban communities costs around $200,000. And then there are fuel costs, which have risen significantly this year.

Overhead expenses for things like power bills usually range between $5,000 and $7,000. And then there’s the cost of tow truck insurance.

Skipping the insurance may seem like a way to save money, but this can become a huge financial mistake. Even the safest driver can be in an accident. It’s impossible to know what will happen out on the road.

Tow trucks are very heavy, especially when they are loaded down with another vehicle. All that extra weight can lead to accidents if it isn’t properly secured and driven with safety in mind.

That’s just one more reason why you need to have tow truck insurance for your business.

What Kind of Companies Need Tow Truck Insurance?

If you describe yourself as a towing company, then you need tow truck insurance. Other related businesses may also need this type of coverage, including auto body shops and repair shops that need to move vehicles as well as roadside assistance companies and auction and salvage companies.

A good way to look at it is if your company offers towing, even if it isn’t your primary or most popular service, then you need to have coverage. A tow truck insurance company can review your information and suggest a policy that offers what you need.

What Kind of Tow Truck Insurance Do I Need?

As mentioned above, it is usually best to find a reliable tow truck insurance provider and talk to them about your specific needs. Different policies will provide different levels of protection. For example, if you own your company, then you may need a business owner’s policy.  This includes basic coverage for just about everything.

A business owner’s policy should include property insurance for office equipment, supplies, and buildings. It should also have business interruption coverage that pays out if your business is damaged in a way that requires you to pause operations. 

Basic liability is also a good choice, although tow truck businesses may want to pay for additional coverage like insurance for medical payments, garage service, physical damage, and tow truck liability.

On-hook tow truck insurance is important as well. This coverage will pay to repair or replace vehicles that are damaged while towing. This is for vehicles that you don’t own and will pay out if the car or truck is damaged due to explosion, fire, theft, vandalism, or collision.

Towing companies also need to have Workers’ Compensation insurance. This coverage pays if an employee becomes ill, injured, or is killed while on the job. Tow truck drivers have a high-risk profession that they must do in all weather conditions. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that accidents are the leading cause of death for tow truck drivers. Experts estimate a rate of over 40 deaths per 100,000 workers. That is very high when you consider that other industries are usually around 3 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Having enough coverage to protect them and their families in case of an accident is a necessity. Make sure you have adequate insurance for your employees.

What Is Not Covered by Tow Truck Insurance?

It is important to understand the fine print when buying tow truck insurance. Some companies will only cover a manufactured tow truck and not a modified vehicle. Some companies use pickup trucks that have a hook welded on. These vehicles may be ineligible for coverage while others may be eligible but at a higher rate.

Also, keep in mind that on-hook tow truck insurance doesn’t cover damage to vehicles you or your business owns or any vehicles that are not hooked to your tow truck. It also won’t pay for personal injuries sustained by two truck drivers and passengers.

If you plan to store vehicles for customers, then also keep in mind that on-hook only pays when damage happens during towing. If you are storing vehicles, you need a garagekeepers policy. This provides coverage in case damage happens while someone else’s vehicle is stored on your property.

There is sometimes a little confusion because insurance companies in Texas and Virginia use the name “garagekeeper’s insurance” to describe on-hook coverage. If you operate in either of these states, then you need to also ask for “storage location insurance.”

Where Can I Get Low Rates on Tow Truck Insurance?

Finding low rates on tow truck insurance is easy. Just visit InsureTrucking.com and click the “Get a Quote Now” button. You can also contact us at 866-307-5480 with questions or to learn more about our insurance rates and coverage options.

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If you own a tow truck, then you need to have tow truck insurance. These vehicles are essential to keep traffic moving. If a car becomes disabled or is damaged in an accident, we rely on tow trucks to help clear the way. Vehicle owners also count on towing companies to provide services when a car or truck becomes disabled and needs to be taken to a garage.

This type of work puts tow truck drivers at a higher risk for accidents and damages. On top of operating a heavier vehicle, they are also responsible for safely transporting another person’s property.

Tow trucks have characteristics that make them more vulnerable to certain types of accidents.  Hook and chain tow trucks are less common now but are out there. Using this method on an all or four-wheel drive vehicle can damage the drivetrain. Lifting the front end of a vehicle puts more pressure on the back end, increasing the chances of damage.

Wheel lift tow trucks are a variation of a hook and chain model, but instead, use a metal yoke and hydraulics to lift rear tires. This can also pose a risk if the yoke isn’t attached correctly.

Flatbed tow trucks are considered the safest because the vehicle is placed on the truck rather than dragged behind it. While it is safer, there are still risks. If the driver doesn’t properly tie the vehicle down on the bed, it can come loose and turn into a serious hazard. Loose cargo can crush other vehicles, property, and people.

Even the best driver can experience the unexpected. A mechanical malfunction, obstacle on the road, or user error can lead to serious injury and property damage. That’s why tow truck insurance is so important whether you run a commercial towing business or own a truck for personal use.

If you are looking for coverage, make sure you avoid these common tow truck insurance mistakes.

Choosing the Highest Deductible Because It’s Cheaper

It’s no secret that if you want to get the lowest insurance rates, you will likely have to choose a higher deductible. This might seem ok in the short term, but it can cause expensive problems in the long run.

When an accident happens, you will be on the hook for a large sum of money before your insurance will pay for anything. It’s not a good position to be in, especially if you are experiencing financial hardship at the time the incident occurs.

You need your tow truck insurance to provide affordable coverage that will get you back on the road fast. Make sure you choose a deductible that is low enough that you can reasonably pay it if you had to but high enough to keep your premiums down.

Not Asking About Insurance Payment Options

Most insurers offer multiple payment options for tow truck insurance. You should choose a method that will work best for you. Breaking it down into smaller payments might make it more financially sustainable. 

Some insurance companies offer discounts if you can pay in full. It might be a large amount at once, but it could save you money throughout the year.

Not Researching the Insurance Company First

You should know who you are buying tow truck insurance from before you sign on the dotted line. The carrier you choose must be reliable and trustworthy. It should be a company that’s been in business for a while with many happy customers.

Also, make sure you read through your policy before agreeing to it. Know what is covered and what you will have to pay for in case of an accident or incident. The more information you have the better prepared you will be if something happens.

Skipping Garage Liability Insurance Coverage

Even if you don’t own a garage, you might need garage liability insurance. This coverage pays if something happens during day-to-day operations. You don’t have to own a physical garage to use it.

Some tow truck drivers offer roadside assistance. If they cause damage to a person’s car while performing this type of service, they could be liable. For example, if you change someone’s tire and they drive away and end up getting into an accident because the tire fell off, your garage liability insurance would kick in to cover the damages.

Even when you have good intentions, mistakes and malfunctions can happen. Garage liability protects you and those who call you for services.

Not Asking Insurance Companies About Discounts

Buying tow truck insurance is a balancing act for business owners. They want the most coverage that they can get but also want to keep premiums as low as possible.

You should never assume that the insurance agent you speak to will automatically tell you about discounts. It’s always best to ask directly. They will let you know if you qualify for anything. You may be eligible for additional savings if you have multiple policies at the same company.

Not Understanding Stated Amount vs. Actual Cash Value

If you try to insure your tow truck for replacement cost, make sure you know the difference between “stated amount’ and “actual cash value.” 

Physical Damage coverages are now written using either a stated amount or actual cash value. Both options take the value of the vehicle at the time of loss into consideration. The difference is that if your policy uses stated amount, then how much you can recover is limited.

The best option is to make sure you assign an actual cash value that is as close to market value at the time you purchase your policy as possible. This will help you get the tow truck insurance coverage you need without overpaying for it.

Not Buying Physical Damage Insurance

Having auto liability insurance doesn’t mean that your tow truck is also covered. Liability coverage kicks in when you are in an accident and the other driver has medical bills and other related expenses. It will not pay to repair or replace your truck. 

Your tow truck insurance should provide physical damage coverage. This includes collision and comprehensive coverages. If you are in an accident, the policy will pay for your vehicle.

Comprehensive insurance is beneficial because it extends coverage to more than just a collision on the road. It will pay out if your truck is damaged due to vandalism, falling objects, theft, or fire.

Tow trucks are expensive to buy. A new model costs between $50,000 and $100,000 or even higher depending on size and features. Make sure you protect your company’s property and shield yourself from the financial fallout of an accident.

Whether you are a new towing business or one that’s been around for years, now is a good time to review your coverage options. Visit Insure Trucking now to learn more about affordable tow truck insurance.

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Semi truck insurance is one of the many expenses that business owners must cover each year. The cost of vehicles, equipment, fuel, wages, taxes, maintenance, and other necessities adds up very quickly. That’s why many trucking companies look for ways to cut costs and save money. 

One of the first places many look is their semi truck insurance policy. Depending on what kind of coverage you need, you may be able to lower your annual costs. There may be a risk involved in doing so if you are refusing a coverage that you may need in the future. Some policies are available with a lower premium but also lower payouts, which means your next accident may not be fully covered.

It may be tempting to consider skipping the semi truck insurance altogether. Be aware that if you choose to do this, you are putting yourself at risk for high losses and legal repercussions. 

The Trucking Industry’s Most Common Liabilities

Before you cancel your semi truck insurance policy, consider the many liabilities that come with the trucking business. These are things that just about all truckers face, and they can lead to high costs and even lawsuits.

  • Trucker Lifestyle and Health

Staying healthy as a trucker can be difficult. The job requires sitting for long periods of time. And for many, cooking a fresh meal on the road isn’t always an option. Eating fast food is easier, but it isn’t good for health. Lack of exercise and unhealthy foods can cause a series of medical problems like obesity, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.

Truckers are also exposed to diesel fumes, which can cause respiratory conditions. Trucking companies that haul hazardous chemicals face an increased risk of other health issues. 

Lengthy drives can cause fatigue. And when loading and unloading, frequent lifting can cause injuries. Even if you don’t suffer an immediate injury, repeated movements and heavy lifting over time can lead to musculoskeletal problems later in life.

  • Accidents Related to Sleep Deprivation

Truck drivers often push themselves to stay on schedule. This may encourage them to stay awake longer, leading to sleep deprivation. Irregular sleeping patterns also make it more likely to suffer from insomnia. It’s difficult to get restful sleep on the road.

Federal regulations have rules in place for how long a driver can operate a vehicle before they are required to take a break. Deviating from this can cause health problems and make a tired driver a hazard on the road.

  • Pushing Drivers to Meet Tight Deadlines

The trucking industry is notorious for its strenuous deadlines. Drivers have to push through, and sometimes they take risks to get there on time. That can mean excessive speed and not stopping, even when they should.

Tight deadlines are a contributing factor in the number of crashes and injuries reported each year. These incidents lead to more expenses on top of medical costs as vehicles and cargo are lost or damaged.

These are just a few of the liabilities that come with the trucking business. Consider the cost of a single accident. Can you pay for it all without semi truck insurance?

No Semi Truck Insurance Can Mean Serious Legal Problems

It is not legal to drive without semi truck insurance. If you are caught doing so, you could face hefty penalties. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lists insurance requirements for truckers. That includes minimum coverage required for different types of vehicles and freight. For example, if you have a truck that’s under 10,0001 lbs. hauling non-hazardous cargo, then you must have at least $300,000 in public liability insurance coverage.

The minimum goes up a lot for other categories. If you are hauling oil, then you must have $1,000,000 in coverage. Other hazardous materials will require over $5,000,000 in coverage.

There is a good reason for these minimums. That is because the cost of cleaning up after an accident can be tremendous. Semi truck insurance is a must to protect you financially and legally.

Finding the Right Semi Truck Insurance Coverage for Your Fleet

Public liability is important, but there are other types of coverage that might be beneficial to you. Cargo insurance will pay for lost or damaged cargo. Most shippers will refuse to do business with a trucking company if they do not hold a cargo insurance policy.

Owner-operators should look into bobtail insurance. This coverage will pay out if you are in an accident without a trailer attached after making a delivery. If you lease with a motor carrier, then you may be required to have bobtail insurance.

Other types of semi truck insurance are available. The experts at Insure Trucking can help you decide which coverage you need and show you the best rates for your trucking business. Contact us now to learn more or to get a personalized semi truck insurance quote.

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Semi truck insurance is a must-have for anyone who wants to open a trucking business. You need to be covered or you could end up losing everything. 

Any vehicle can easily rack up thousands of dollars worth of damage in an accident. However, when you are dealing with something the size of a semi, that amount quickly skyrockets. Just looking at crashes involving an injury, the average cost of a semi truck accident pulling one trailer is around $334,892. If two or three trailers are being pulled, the average shoots up to more than $1.2 million.

Do you have the funds to cover all of that or even more? What about the fines and penalties that come with not being insured? 

Total losses can also increase based on what was being transported. High-value cargo will automatically raise the costs. Many things have to be paid for in an accident, including towing, storage, vehicle damage, injuries, ongoing medical expenses, loss of revenue, administrative fees, and lost cargo.

Indirect losses can also be felt by a company after an accident. Clients may be lost as well as sales. Employees may lose work hours, or you may need to cover the bill to hire and retrain new workers. More money may be needed if a government agency gets involved or if you face a lawsuit.

It’s easy to see just how quickly one accident can add up. If you don’t have semi truck insurance, then you will be on the hook for all of it.

What Kind of Semi Truck Insurance Do I Need?

There are several different types of semi truck insurance available. These cover different parts of an accident or incident. General liability insurance will pay for damage to third-party property and bodily injury. Primary liability insurance covers the same thing if it is the result of a semi truck accident.

Other types of semi truck insurance include:

  • Non-trucking Liability Insurance – This type of coverage protects your semi truck while it is used for non-commercial purposes. This could be times when you use it for personal trips, like stopping at the bank, going to the store, or picking up the kids. Anytime you are not driving for your business, you need non-trucking liability coverage.  
  • Physical Damage Insurance – This coverage pays out if there is damage done to your vehicle. It is a general term that covers things like theft, natural disasters, collision, or vandalism. It may also help pay for towing and storage costs after an incident. You should speak to your insurer to find out what is covered.
  • Motor Truck Cargo Insurance – Motor truck cargo coverage will compensate you for direct physical loss to property while in transit. This also includes while cargo is being loaded or unloaded as well as while it is sitting at a terminal or dock. Some insurers may allow coverage extensions that will pay for losses related to spoilage or broken heating or refrigeration equipment.
  • Bobtail Insurance – When a truck is used without a trailer, it is considered “bobtailing.” Bobtail insurance provides coverage when the truck is operated without a trailer. This works much like non-trucking liability but only pays if the truck is not transporting cargo. 
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance – Most companies will be required to hold workers’ compensation coverage with their semi truck insurance. It is mandatory in almost every U.S. state. It ensures that some of the cost of injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, and death benefits are covered if an employee is injured or loses their life in an accident.

The type of semi truck insurance you need may vary. You should speak to your insurer to find out which coverages are required, and which are good to have based on your personal and business needs.

What Factors into the Cost of Semi Truck Insurance?

Many things are considered when providing a semi truck insurance quote. If you lease to a company, then you may already have primary liability insurance under that business. You may need to add non-truck and bobtail coverages, which will typically come at a lower cost.

Some states have higher rates for semi truck insurance, so location is a factor. You may also have to pay more depending on your federal filing status. Federal filing is required for some trucking companies, like those who haul hazardous materials or those who operate across state lines. These have much higher minimum liability limits, which leads to higher premiums.

Used vehicles typically cost less to insure than brand new models. The type of cargo you haul and the routes you take will also be determining factors. If you have a bigger operating area, then you’ll likely have to pay more for semi truck insurance.

Just like cars and smaller trucks, driving history is reviewed when estimating insurance rates. If you have a good driving record, then you’ll get a better price. If you have a lot of violations and accidents, then you should expect to pay more. Even a minor accident can increase insurance premiums. This is especially true for semi trucks because they are much bigger, heavier, and more capable of causing catastrophic damage should something go wrong.

How Much Will My Semi Truck Insurance Cost?

The only way to know exactly how much your semi truck insurance will be is to request a quote from an insurer. They can review your specific situation and tell you what they will charge for the types of coverage that you need.

Owner-operators that lease on to a motor carrier usually pay $3,000 to $5,000 annually. If you are an owner-operator without a motor carrier, then that average increases to $9,000 to $12,000 per truck. 

Rates have increased over the years for newcomers to the industry. You could pay as much as $12,000 to $16,000 for your semi truck insurance. The best way to get started is to request a custom quote. This will help you see what you need and how much you’ll have to pay to stay legal and protected on the road.

Visit Insure Trucking now to learn more about semi truck insurance or to get a personalized quote.

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Before you skip researching cargo insurance companies, make sure you know what they cover and how coverage could benefit your business.

Operating a trucking company gets expensive. Fees can rack up quickly from the start. You’ll be looking at hundreds of dollars in getting your business registration, US DOT number, and UCR fee. Then there’s the cost of buying your vehicles. Even if you go with a used truck, you could pay anywhere from $15,000 to $175,000.

There’s truck repair, with regular maintenance averaging around $15,000 annually – and that’s assuming nothing else goes wrong. Fuel for the average 18-wheeler can rise to over $70,000 in a year.

Most trucking companies want to find ways to cut costs without putting themselves at financial or legal risk. Some try to do that by keeping insurance expenses as low as possible. 

While you can save money by looking for insurers that offer fair rates and good coverage, you should think twice about skipping some coverages altogether. For example, cargo insurance companies can make a big difference if something goes wrong while you’re hauling a client’s goods or materials.

What Will Cargo Insurance Companies Cover?

Cargo insurance companies are there to protect you from losses related to damaged or missing cargo. It’s impossible to predict what will happen out on the road or while your truck is parked somewhere. This type of coverage will usually pay out if you lose cargo due to a natural disaster, abandonment, act of war, piracy, customs rejection, or vehicle accident.

It is different from the coverage you typically get with carrier liability. This type of policy is available in two main types: land and marine.

Marine isn’t usually applicable unless your company handles shipping cargo in the air or over the ocean. This type is common for international shipments where things like water-related weather conditions and piracy can be a concern.

Land cargo insurance is available for small utility vehicles and trucks. It protects you in case of theft, damage, and other risks that are common in land freight shipping. It is also typically only used for domestic shipments.

Cargo insurance companies should be open about what is covered and what isn’t. Most policies do not pay out if the cause is related to poor or inadequate packaging or flawed products. They may also have limitations related to the type of freight you are hauling. For example, high-value, fragile, or hazardous materials may be excluded. Some electronic products may also be ineligible.

How Much Does Cargo Insurance Cost?

The cargo insurance companies that you speak to should be able to provide an estimate based on your specific needs. Your annual cost will be directly related to your policy limit. Average yearly premiums usually range from $400 to $1,800. 

The typical annual cost for a policy with a $50,000 limit is between $400 and $700. That increases to between $800 to $1,400 for a policy limit of $100,000. If you want a cargo insurance policy with a $250,000 limit, then expect to pay between $1,100 and $1,800 annually.

Cargo insurance companies will also look at two other factors to calculate your premium. One is what you are shipping. Something that comes with a higher risk like natural gas will likely cost more to insure compared to other types of freight.

The other factor is your loss history. If they see an excessive number of losses in the past, the company may view you as a high-risk and charge a heftier premium.

What is covered will also play a role in the amount you have to pay to get coverage. Some of the most common cargo insurance coverages include:

  • Reefer Breakdown – Pays for cargo lost due to a malfunctioning refrigeration equipment
  • Loading and Unloading – Pays for losses that occur when cargo is loaded or unloaded
  • Hijackings – Pays for losses related to cargo hijacking
  • Sue and Labor – Pays for damaged goods due to an incident
  • Dishonesty – Pays for losses due to driver theft
  • Earned Freight – Pays for lost income due to damaged cargo that is undeliverable
  • Debris Removal – Pays for removal of cargo dropped on waterways or roads
  • Pollution Liability – Pays to clean up spills like gasoline
  • Water Damage – Pays for losses related to moisture and water leaks

Am I Legally Required to Work with Cargo Insurance Companies?

There are situations where you may not be legally required to work with cargo insurance companies. Everyone must have liability insurance, but cargo can be optional depending on what you are hauling.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies that transport household goods as well as freight forwarders of household goods to have a minimum amount of cargo insurance.

The FMCSA website defines household goods as “personal items that will be used in a home.” That includes products that are “shipped from a factory or store if purchased with the intent to use in a home and transported at the request of the householder who pays for the transportation charges.”

Cargo Insurance Companies Can Protect Your Business

The value of freight can vary wildly and can add up fast. Can your business recover if you have to reimburse a client for a lost or damaged shipment? Even if you can, is it going to be less than the cost of buying cargo insurance?

In most cases, cargo insurance is the better option – or may be the only legal option. Protect yourself and your business by visiting InsureTrucking.com to get a fast, free online quote for truckers insurance.

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If you are a trucker and haven’t spoken to cargo insurance companies, now is the time to do so. Trucks are responsible for transporting a lot of very expensive materials and items across the nation every day.

According to American Trucking Associations, over 10 billion tons of freight were moved by trucks across the United States in 2017. To put it into perspective, that amounts to around 30 pounds of goods for every adult and child in the country.

Trucks are responsible for moving over 70% of all goods transported across the U.S.

The value of each load hauled varies greatly, but it’s easy to see that the cost can get very high very quickly. Even if an individual item isn’t expensive, the total value can be high due to the quantity being carried.

Every trucking business should know whether they need to contact cargo insurance companies before they start working with clients.

Do I Legally Need Coverage from Cargo Insurance Companies?

The minimum amount of insurance legally required for truckers is called carrier liability. This level of coverage will keep you legal, but it will likely not provide complete financial protection if you lose your cargo. These policies typically cover up to a certain amount, which is usually less than the total value of the goods you are shipping.

It also has other limitations. You may not receive compensation for cargo lost due to anything that is labeled an act of God, like a natural disaster, or an act of war. It also won’t pay for goods that are damaged or lost due to poor or inadequate packaging.

Even if it does pay something towards lost cargo, it will likely leave you with a big gap that your business may have to cover.

While you can stick to the minimum coverage required, it is not recommended. Cargo insurance companies offer better protection in case something unexpected happens. You may not be breaking the law without it, but you could seriously harm your business if expensive cargo is lost or damaged in an accident.

What Can Cargo Insurance Companies Do for You?

Cargo insurance companies provide another layer of protection in case you lose or damage freight. It will reduce the losses taken by your business in case of an accident or incident. It also offers better flexibility in what it will cover.

For example, cargo insurance companies will pay out if goods are damaged due to an act of God. Most policies will pay a claim as long as the damage wasn’t your fault. Even if you haven’t had an accident, cargo insurance will help you keep peace of mind every time you or one of your drivers gets behind the wheel.

Do I Need an All Risk or Named Perils Cargo Insurance Policy?

The cargo insurance companies you talk to will likely offer two types of coverage. These vary in cost with different limitations, so make sure you know what you are getting. Don’t make a decision based on insurance rates alone.

  • All Risk Cargo Insurance

This one is called “all risk” because it covers just about anything. This policy will pay claims any time you experience loss or damages due to external forces. That can include customs rejection, negligence, abandonment, natural cargo defaults, and other situations. 

This is a good choice for businesses that haul high-value or fragile items. It reduces your financial risk significantly. The only downside is that cargo insurance companies charge more for this type of policy.

  • Named Perils Cargo Insurance

The difference between all risk and named perils cargo insurance has to do with what is covered. Named perils coverage is limited and will only pay out in certain situations. These circumstances will be outlined in the policy. As long as the cause matches what is stated in the policy, you are covered. 

This option gives trucking companies a way to select coverage in an al la carte fashion. You can add as many things as you like, and the cost will reflect what you want to cover. The benefit is that you won’t pay as much for the policy. The less that is covered, the less you have to pay. The downside is that you could face a situation not protected by your policy and wind up having to pay out of pocket for it despite having insurance.

Speaking to cargo insurance companies will help you determine which type of coverage is best for you.

Do I Need Cargo Insurance Coverage?

Cargo insurance is optional, so you technically don’t have to have it. Choosing to skip it will expose you to enormous financial risks. Trucking businesses rely on having a steady stream of goods to transport. If your clients aren’t happy, this will hurt your business. And they won’t be happy if their cargo is missing, damaged, or late with no compensation. 

Carrier liability will pay for some things, but it is very limited and most likely will leave you with some financial burden afterward.

Anything can happen when you’re out on the road. If you aren’t sure if you need cargo insurance, ask yourself if you or your business can handle the cost of losing all of the freight you transport in a shipment and still be profitable. If not, then you need coverage.

If you are looking for cargo insurance companies, contact Insure Trucking. We’re here to discuss your needs and help you find affordable insurance that will protect you and your business.

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