A trucking company’s fleet is arguably its most valuable asset. After all, your semi-trucks do all the heavy-lifting, right? Thankfully, these days it is perfectly possible to find effective cheap semi-truck insurance. The trick is finding the right one for you.
The question is, what’s with truck insurance? Isn’t it the same as any other automobile insurance policy?
Your fleets also count as commercial assets, and so you need to be protecting them with the right insurance policies.
Let’s face facts. Your fleet of trucks will be working harder than any private vehicle. Whether they’re dealing with cross-country deliveries or hardcore schedules, your trucks will see a lot of use. That also means more risks and faster depreciation.
It isn’t hard to find a company that offers cheap semi-truck insurance. Not these days, at least. The problem is more on pairing up their offerings with your needs.
Of course, you don’t want to be spending more than you’re getting. In this article, we’ve compiled 10 factors that come into play when choosing an insurance provider.
What You Need to know About Truck Insurance
Cost vs. Coverage
It shouldn’t be hard to understand why this is important. Insurance can get very expensive. It’s not just about getting what you pay for; are you paying too little or too much? Are you getting the right amount of coverage?
Transport Topics highlights that the trucking industry brings in around $700 billion in annual revenue and it would be beneficial to take care of our vehicles as they are your company’s most important assets.
The best practice to get a good price here is to go around and compare prices. But before that, you’re going to need to know what kind of coverage you need. At the end of the day, because you don’t want a sales representative to talk you into something your business doesn’t need.
While the insurance agent may just be doing their job, you can avoid that drama by making a list of things that might need coverage. Some examples would be:
- Bodily injury of employees
- Loading and unloading damages
- Comprehensive vehicle collision damage
- Towing expense (in case of vehicular breakdown)
It might be easier to just pick any insurance policy “ready-made” for trucking companies. Don’t be fooled: read the fine print.
Your Operation History
Have you ever wondered why insurance quotes can vary so much? Even when it comes to cheap semi-truck insurance, insurance companies use advanced math to figure out your chances of getting in trouble. They then compute for a reasonable price for your policy.
A big factor when it comes to commercial trucks is your operation history. This will show insurance companies how often these trucks go out on deliveries.
They also get to see how often you experience breakdowns. A higher number on both counts might mean a pricier policy. This is why insurance companies bring up risks a lot in their advertising materials.
Companies have different tolerances of risk. Some companies, like Assured Standard, cater to unique risks. That way, almost anyone can find a policy suited for their business.
Policy Inclusions and Discounts
All of our favorite childhood movies have taught us that the fine print in contracts can get you into trouble. Other times, they could provide surprise bonuses.
Why not assure that bonus and avoid all the trouble?
As previously mentioned, the devil is truly in the details. It can be tedious, but it helps ensure that the cheap semi-truck insurance you’re getting is actually going to be useful to your company.
There definitely are benefits in store when it comes to insurance policies. By that, we mean things like possible deductions to the price itself!
This means the insurance company could:
- Offer discounts when shipping certain goods
- Offer price deductions with proof of improved safety standards
- Offer price deductions for secure truck storage areas.
- Offer price deductions for secure fleets
These are easy ways you could qualify for these discounts. You should already be abiding by these practices, so remember to have proof! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get more with your money.
Let’s put it this way. Would you trade a brand-new vehicle for, let’s say, a truck straight out of the ’90s? Of course not! Well, insurance companies won’t enjoy paying the equivalent either.
Yes, that means that the type, model, and age of your trucks will be taken into consideration. Don’t worry, cheap semi-truck insurance policies cover the newer models too. It’s just a matter of choosing what you need.
Vehicle type is an important factor that goes into deciding insurance costs, but you’d be surprised at just how many business owners forget to take this into consideration.
It’s common to equate newer trucks with lower insurance premiums, but you should also keep in mind that buying new trucks means incurring costs on, well, the price of the truck itself.
It’s important to know these details beforehand. This way, you know whether you should go all-out on the trucks for your company. You might find opting for an older but reliable model serves you better.
Otherwise, you might feel that the fees are reasonable enough to get the latest version. In either case, lots of background research will serve you well.
Area of Operations
Your area of operations is a vital component of the overall rate you’re going to get. Aside from that, it’s also an important consideration when you choose an insurance company.
The cheap semi-truck insurance policy that works for you will ultimately account for your area of operations.
Let’s look at it from a bookkeeper’s perspective. Assets depreciate over time, and that depreciation occurs faster when the average distance is higher.
This is why commercial operations need to have this data available. If you need cheap semi-truck insurance, you’d be better off basing your operations in the vicinity.
This also means finding insurance companies that understand the nature of your work.
For instance, what if lots of your trips are spent on the freeway? Insurance companies that don’t understand your case might overcharge just because the odometer shows a high number.
As we said before, different businesses will have different needs. Here, we’ll be talking about coverage of the goods you’ll be shipping.
Let’s say you’re providing delivery services of frozen goods and other perishables. What would happen to your shipping goods if a road was closed down—or worse, if a truck broke down mid-transit?
For companies delivering electronics or other non-perishables, they’ll only need to worry about paying late-fees and the broken truck. For a company like you, that means paying those expenses and losing your goods!
This is not a reason to panic if budget is an issue. Cheap semi-truck insurance policies can specialize in certain types of cargos. This means discounts for companies shipping these goods.
Pay attention to the kind of insurance company you’re approaching. This matters as insurance companies have different specializations.
The Insurance Company
Let’s say you’ve found a company that seems perfect for your needs. Their cheap semi-truck insurance policy is flexible and payment schedules are reasonable. Basically, it’s perfect for your company.
Before you close that deal though, ask yourself how well-known the company is. Why? Because things might be too perfect.
We’re not saying it’s impossible. The point is to make sure you understand the history of the insurance company. Have past clients complained about their services before? Do they promise too much?
Additionally, you will want to know the experience of the company with trucks. Semi-trucks are a wholly different beast from the average private vehicle. Finding a reputable semi-truck insurance company would do wonders for your coverage.
That’s thanks to their knowledge and experience in the business. Get to know your prospective insurance provider before finalizing any deal. You’ll never know what might pop up.
Ease of Insurance Claim
Last but not least, you’ll need to look at the insurance claim process itself. The whole point of getting insurance coverage is to have a back-up in case things go wrong. What’s the point of insurance if it ends up being impossible to make claims?
Ask about the company’s claim history. This will just show you how often and how much they have been able to shell out.
This information will also tell you about the capability of that company to actually pay for your setbacks. Indeed, having this information is one of the best ways to be sure of the quality of the coverage.
Other than that, it’ll help when the insurance providers themselves offer convenient services. A 24/7 claiming option, for instance, is a very convenient way to make sure all your bases are covered at all times.
At the end of the day, what’s most important is to know what your company’s needs are. Cheap semi-truck insurance policies are available for companies on a budget. It’s just a matter of figuring out what kind of coverage works for you.
Get to know the insurance company and develop an eye for details. This will help you in figuring out whether you understand everything important about the contract.
Have you had any experience with getting commercial insurance? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!