Although it is a tedious task to figure out the best rates for your insurance policy, it is worth the effort so you can reap the benefits of insuring your business. A lot can be done to save up on the rates for commercial trucking insurance.
How to Get a Relatively Cheap Truck Insurance Cost
Trucking insurance, by default, is expensive. It is especially expensive for small businesses with one or two trucks. It can also become expensive for big companies if they are careless about their drivers, vehicles and cargo. You can take into account the following checklist of the best practices to ensure maximum savings while purchasing your insurance.
1. Hire Experienced Drivers
It is always better to hire experienced drivers than young people with little experience or sometimes no experience in driving trucks.
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2. Verify Your Employees’ Histories
Take some time to go through your drivers’ driving history and past records. Even if they have minor traffic violations or incidents, think twice before hiring them. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has recommended a Pre-employment Screening Programme or PSP which indicates the drivers’ future performance based on past records.
3. Invest in Newer Trucks
Although they can be expensive, investing in newer models of trucks can help your business be efficient in terms of fuel usage, safety and in pollution control. These are factors which matter to your insurance company so that they take lesser risks in covering for your damages should they occur. Sometimes, lesser risks for the insurance company may mean lower premiums for you.
4. Keep Track of Your CSA Scores
CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores are performance markers used by the FMSCA to identify motor carriers and drivers at high risk. If your CSA score is high then you also incur a higher risk. Working towards lowering your CSA scores by employing safer driving practises as well as experienced drivers greatly reduces your risk profile. If scores are found to be high, not only will your driving practises be intervened but it also indirectly increases your insurance rates.
5. Monitor Your Credit Reports
Make sure your credit scores are good. If you have a record of late payments when you apply for trucking insurance, companies will consider yours at high risk and therefore increase your premiums too.
6. Pay Full Premium Amount in Advance
If you can afford to then pay your entire premium amount upfront and in advance. This means you will write a single check to your insurance company for the entire amount you owe annually. On the whole, you will be saving upto 10% or even 20% by not paying monthly.
7. Higher Deductibles
If you want to pay lesser premium amounts every month, you can maintain clean driving records from your drivers and you usually do the best you can to ensure no damages occur during shipments, then this one is for you. You can opt for higher deductibles on your insurance policy that lowers the premium amount. However, it means that in the even of an accident, you may have to shell out more money for the damages than otherwise.
8. Ask for Discounts
Well established insurance companies generally offer discounts for safe driving records, older customers and new customers to make their policies attractive. Simply ask your agent which ones you qualify for and see how much you can lower your rates.
9. Look out for New Insurance
While big insurance companies offer discounts to older customers, they also silently raise their rates at the end of each year. Successful trucking owners switch their insurance providers periodically and keep themselves updated about the latest policies and rates.