First, truckers and tractors are considered commercial equipment. They do not automatically get the extension of coverage on a personal auto policy. Electronics, personal property, load securing equipment and loading equipment are not automatically covered.
Commercial auto liability is very straightforward. The Feds will receive a filing to prove financial responsibility if a trucker is granted ICC Authority. Truckers must file to comply with the federal (ICC) requirements. Truckers who have been hurt by vehicles without insurance can also get assistance from the Uninsured/Under Insured Motorist. If someone is injured on or in your truck, medical payment can help.
Cargo insurance covers truckers’ liability for other goods they are hauling. There are three forms of insurance: Named Perils, Theft is a narrower policy. Broad Form adds some coverage to a basic form. All Risk coverage covers all causes, unless otherwise stated in the policy. No matter what form you choose, there are certain coverages that a trucker will need. Truckers should purchase cargo coverage equal to the maximum value of the goods they haul. If you haul a load of higher value than your policy’s limit, some policies include a coinsurance clause. This can reduce coverage.
1) A refrigerated carrier will need Reefer Malfunction and Reefer Breakdown coverage in order to cover any damage or spoilage that may be caused by his reefer unit breaking down. Make sure to check if your policy covers an error in temperature control. Most policies on reefers only cover a malfunction or a breakdown of the unit.
2) A flat-bed carrier should have a endorsement or coverage for wetness in the event that his load is damaged by snow or rain. Most policies have a “tarpaulin” endorsement that limits coverage to load properly covered. Sometimes, a trucker’s negligence can cause a tarp to become damaged or torn off. This could result in damage that is not covered by the policy unless it includes wetness coverage. You can also get coverage for binders, chains, and tarps to replace or repair any damaged binding equipment.
To ensure that the load can be moved, a dry van carrier is recommended. This type of operation can lead to longer and more expensive trailers and the possibility that load securing equipment may fail. These situations are very rare, but they do happen.
Every trucker must have freight coverage on his cargo insurance. When a trucker is unable to deliver his cargo due to a covered accident, this coverage covers lost revenue. The minimum amount for cleanup and disposal coverage should be $10, 000.
In the event of a covered loss, Physical Damage coverage covers the cost to repair the tractor or trailer. This coverage is limited to a specific value. Truckers are responsible for setting the equipment’s value. A loss will be paid by the insurance company if equipment is of comparable quality. Market value is what that means. Therefore, the trucker should verify his values. If your policy does not have a combined deductible endorsement, you will be responsible for the deductible on each unit. Towing does not cover a disabled or broken down vehicle. Many policies cover losses and include storage and towing limits within the stated vehicle amount. If you have a large tow or storage cost, your policy limit may not be sufficient to cover your entire loss. You can purchase towing coverage in addition to the physical damage. You should ensure that your policy includes roadside assistance and disablement.
Unless you purchase additional coverage, electronics such as radios, TVs, and cell phones are not generally covered. Personal property is not covered by the policy unless it is specifically mentioned. However, your homeowners insurance may cover it. Rent reimbursement is not covered automatically.
Since I have been an insurance agent for truckers for years, I know how strong their emotional attachment is to their trucks. However, the insurance companies view them as a piece that generates revenue. The less they make, the more they get older and the more miles they drive. Betterment issues are also important. Tractors are more durable than automobiles, and they can go farther. Average tractor travels between 115,000.00-135, 000 miles per year. Insurance companies will take this into account when replacing an engine or suspension piece after a wreck. If the expected life of the part is 500, 000 miles, and there’s a wreck at 250,000. miles, insurance companies may only pay half the replacement cost of the part, as half the expected life of the part has been used. An agent who doesn’t know how his insurance company handles this upfront could find themselves in serious trouble.
General Liability refers to incidental liability not covered by commercial auto policies. This coverage is ideal for auto haulers who might drive vehicles to another location after they have been unloaded from a trailer. A trucker who uses his own forklift to unload and load cargo.
Truckers and their employees are required to have Workers Compensation in case of injury. Occupational Accident can be a cost-effective alternative, but it has certain disadvantages and advantages. To understand all of these coverages and get advice on specific trucking risks, it is best to consult a Truck Insurance Specialist.