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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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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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