New trucking companies often start off facing higher insurance rates or incomplete coverage. When insurance renewals come around and a safety record has been built, these newer companies look to reduce their insurance or will start to pay higher rates but with complete coverage for their business.
However, many trucking companies that secure the “cheapest insurance quote” often stick with their insurance without getting multiple quotes, even if their business model changed over time.
Trucking companies should note that it is worth shopping for the best insurance rates with the ideal coverage your unique fleet needs, especially with new ELD and safety technology gathering data in the truck or if you started hauling reefer or other loads across more states. In addition to commercial truck insurance providers offering new programs to reduce your premium, insurance rates are constantly fluctuating, and certain commercial insurance providers can provide better coverage and rates on certain services compared to their competitor.
When switching for better insurance, it is important to line up when the old insurance expires and when the new coverage begins. You may have a few days overlap, but you can search for coverage anytime, even if you are not quite ready to make a change.
Just remember, it is not usually a good idea to get quotes right after being involved in an accident or being convicted of making a traffic violation as they will often increase your rates at your next renewal.
So, when is it the best time to switch your commercial trucking insurance?
Shopping for better insurance rates
Fleets often request insurance quotes several months before their coverage expires. This is to give them time to compare rates, types of coverage, and build trust with insurance providers that are looking out for your best interests.
It has been found that your personal credit score can have a direct correlation to the number of and possibility of claims in the future. Keeping your credit score low or attempting to lower it is always a good idea.
Also, start using your ELD data to add more details to your safe driving history. We are proud to offer Progressive’s Smart Haul ELD Program. Smart Haul® gives eligible for-hire truckers using an electronic logging device (ELD) the option to save a minimum of 3% on their Progressive commercial truck policy in exchange for permission to access their driving data.
The amount is determined by reviewing your recent driving data, which can include information about your vehicle, driving behavior, location and other diagnostics. New truck customers who participate save an average of $1,384 on their premium.
Shopping For Right Kinds of Coverage
When looking for competitive rates, it is important that you compare quotes beyond the cost, but include what coverages are included and what details are a part of the coverage, as cheaper insurance rates may have limited coverage details that you could be missing out on.
Basically, you are better off getting cargo coverage that covers many types of cargo to make sure your loads are protected. What you pay out-of-pocket for cargo loss would be much more than the few hundred dollars you would pay on your premium.
It is important to keep in mind legal requirements when obtaining trucking insurance. Commercial Truck Insurance is mandatory in all 50 states and failure to obtain coverage could cost you a lot of money in fines or even worse, your license.
By law, you must have a minimum of 750,000 in auto liability and cargo coverage (coverage depends on what your trucks are hauling).
Auto Liability, also known as Bodily Injury Physical Damage (BIPD), is required by the FMCSA at a minimum coverage of $750,000 to obtain your MC authority.
Your transportation liability insurance will cover bodily injury, provide financial support for medical expenses, and property damage. If legal action is taken out against you because of an accident, your liability insurance will also cover the cost of your defense, regardless if you are found to be at fault or not.
Truck Cargo Coverage is required by law, however the amount of coverage depends on what your trucks are hauling.
Physical Damage Coverage is not required for Commercial Truck Insurance, but we do recommend it. Coverage depends on what you are driving and can range from $1000 to $200K.
Uninsured Motorists Insurance is for your truck and/or trailer damage or if you sustain injuries in an accident that is caused by a party that does not have sufficient Auto Insurance coverage. Although not required, this coverage will pay for your injuries if this happens.
Reefer Breakdown Coverage provides you protection if your refrigerated trailer breaks down due to mechanical failure of the temperature control system and provides insurance for the loss of cargo, so you are not responsible for covering those losses.
If you are a construction and contracting business with a fleet of trucks, you should also consider:
- Workers’ compensation insurance: Required in almost every state for construction and contracting businesses that have employees, workers’ comp can cover medical fees for work-related injuries.
- Contractor’s tools and equipment insurance: This policy helps pay for repair or replacement of a contractor’s equipment and tools if they are lost, stolen, or damaged.
- Professional liability insurance: This policy covers professional mistakes and oversights, such as a contractor missing a deadline for a project.
- Builder’s risk insurance: Builder’s risk insurance can pay for damage done to a structure still under construction, such as fire or vandalism at a construction site.
Looking for better customer service
Customer service is one of the most important elements in your commercial insurance policy. You cannot afford to wait days to hear back from your adjuster or have trouble filing a claim.
Additionally, working with a company that specializes in the commercial trucking industry will better understand your business.
At CNS Insurance, we specialize in Commercial Trucking Insurance and work with our partners, Compliance Navigation Specialists, to cover your compliance needs as well.
Our DOT compliance partner, Compliance Navigation Specialist, are available with trucking compliance consultation and DOT Compliance Programs that keep your company on the right track by keeping your risk low and your insurance rates even lower.
We are your insurance family and are always a phone call away with unmatched customer service. We take pride in the fact that we build lasting relationships with everyone we talk to whether you are a client or not.
How to Switch Policies
It never hurts to get a quote and try saving money on your insurance premiums. Give us a call anytime and we can discuss lowering your premiums or getting a quote to see where you stand.
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