Whether you’re an individual truck operator or you manage a fleet of commercial trucks, professional truck insurance is non-negotiable. Not only is it legally required, but it will also give you the peace of mind you need when making long-haul drives. The right insurance can even help save you money in the long run.
Unfortunately, just because something is necessary doesn’t make it easy. Choosing the right company or agent, getting the right coverage, and balancing cost and value can be difficult when choosing your insurance provider.
To make it simple, be sure to ask your agent these 5 questions before you sign on the dotted line.
Do You Specialize in Insuring Trucks and Tractor Trailers?
Simply stated, there’s a big difference between insuring passenger vehicles and insuring long-haul 18-wheeler trucks. Does your insurance company specialize in insuring your type of vehicle? If they don’t how much of their business comes from the trucking industry and how many years of experience do they have? Make sure you’re satisfied with the answer before you ask any more questions.
Do You Assist With Permits?
As a commercial truck driver, it’s imperative that you have the right permits for the job and that they are always up to date and properly registered. If you don’t want to have to manage this on your own, make sure your insurance company will handle it in-house.
How Much Insurance Do I Need? (And How Much Do You Recommend?)
Depending on your state, the size of your fleet, the type of cargo you carry, and how many state lines you cross, you’ll be required by law to have a certain amount of insurance. But other factors may contribute to your driving, which could lead you to opt for more insurance than needed. Ask your agent for the facts as well as their opinion before you sign up.
What Factors Affect My Premium?
It’s not just the monthly premium that you should concern yourself with, but also how the insurance company arrived at the total. Do they factor in your driving record, age, years of experience, or type of cargo you’re carrying when pricing your plan? If they do, will the premium change if these factors change? This information will also help you compare companies apples to apples so you can find the best plan for your personal situation.
How Does the Claims Process Work?
A simple, stress-free claims process is an important part of your insurance company. Some follow up questions to get the conversation rolling may include: How quickly can your chosen truck insurance company turn around a claim? If there are financial gains involved, how quickly will you be paid? How far can they travel to assess the damage? Do they work on nights and weekends? How streamlined is the process? Can you do it all online or will you have to do any actual paperwork? Will they work with just one agent or several?
Make sure you’re satisfied with the process. Hopefully, you won’t have to use it often (or at all) but the last place you want to regret your choice is the shoulder of a freeway at midnight.
Choosing the right truck insurance agency will take a little time and work, but once you have it lined up you’ll be able to forget about it and put your trust in the experts to keep you and your cargo protected.