18 Wheeler Insurance: The Ultimate Guide
Truck business owners and 18 wheeler drivers know that these trucks are the lifeblood of the trucking business. Without them, your organization cannot transport any goods and you cannot earn your wage.
However, driving large trucks like 18 wheelers comes with a lot of risks too. Truck drivers need more room to maneuver their trucks and trailers, while their size adds to the dangers of accidents. Also, 18 wheeler trucks often carry heavy or hazardous loads, which is also very risky in case of an accident. Furthermore, the long hours that drivers spend on the road can make it more difficult for drivers to pay attention while driving.
For these and many other safety reasons, it is always a good idea to have 18 wheeler insurance. Here’s the ultimate guide to insurance for 18 wheelers and everything you need to know.
Types of 18 Wheeler Insurance
Choosing the right type of 18 wheeler truck insurance coverage is vital for protecting your most important assets. One of the main reasons is the cost of 18 wheeler. The trucks are very expensive, which means that paying for repairs out of your own pocket can be a big hit to your finances.
Additionally, the value of the trailer and the load you are hauling can also be very big, which means that each accident can be a severe danger for your company. That’s why choosing the right type of commercial auto insurance can protect you from having to personally cover different types of bills and accidents, including uninsured drivers. Here are the types of 18 wheeler truck insurance you should take into consideration if you run a truck business:
In the US, liability insurance is required by law. This type of coverage protects the drivers and the business that operates 18 wheelers. Keep in mind that in order to obtain permits and licenses, you must have liability insurance. Also, liability insurance protects you and your business from having to cover medical or property expenses in case there is an accident in which your 18 wheeler is involved:
- Bodily Injury: Bodily injury covers the medical bills of other drivers who were injured in an accident in which your truck was involved. There are many different coverages that this type of insurance can pay for, including hospitalization, surgery, medical tests, and follow-up medical care of other people who were involved.
- Property Damage: Property damage covers other people’s vehicles or property repairs. The property portion of the coverage includes paying for the damages on buildings, fences, gates, and city properties.
Medical payments cover the driver in addition to other passengers who may be aboard. In case you are an independent 18 wheeler truck driver and you get involved in a car accident where the other driver is at-fault, their insurance should cover your medical expenses. However, this coverage may not be enough to pay for your medical bills. In this case, medical payments coverage comes in useful as it pays for your medical expenses regardless of whose fault the accident was. In some way, this type of 18 wheeler insurance is similar to a health insurance plan.
Physical Damage Insurance
Physical damage insurance covers the losses that were caused by the damages to the 18 wheeler. Whether owned or leased, commercial auto physical damage insurance can be very useful for companies that don’t own their 18 wheelers from the start. Later on, if you decide to buy the truck, physical damage insurance still offers one of the best coverages you can get.
- Comprehensive Physical Damage Protection: This type of coverage pays for non-collision accidents that can damage your truck. Comprehensive physical damage protection also covers the losses in case of vandalism or theft.
- Collision Damage Protection: This coverage pays for expenses in case your 18 wheeler is damaged in an accident that involves one or more vehicles or accidents that involve other property.
- Specified Peril: Specified Peril or Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverage is the type of coverage that protects you from specific types of peris, such as trees falling onto your truck.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance is another type of insurance for 18 wheelers that covers commercial vehicles when the other driver is at-fault and doesn’t have adequate insurance. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance (or they don’t have enough), this type of policy can pay for the entire cost or just the difference.
Other Types of 18 Wheeler Insurance
There are also other types of insurance for 18 wheelers that you might also want to take into consideration, including:
- Towing Insurance: This type of coverage pays for any towing service in case your truck needs to be fixed.
- Trailer Insurance: Trailer insurance covers the expenses for repairs and replacements to the trailer that was hauled by your truck when the accident happened.
- Reefer Breakdown: In case your reefer equipment breaks down, and as a result, your cargo gets ruined, this type of coverage can pay for the losses.
- Cargo: Cargo insurance covers financial losses caused when your cargo was damaged or destroyed.
- Unattended Truck Insurance: This type of coverage protects you from losses such as theft, vandalism or other hazards when you are away from your cargo and 18 wheeler.
- Accessories: Accessories insurance covers for the losses of expensive equipment that you may have installed in your truck such as the GPS units, the communication radios, and electronic log books.
18 Wheeler Insurance Cost
There are many factors that impact the cost of 18 wheeler insurance, including the distances that your trucks travel, the driving records, and the type of cargo hauled. On average, business owners can pay up to $12,000 for 18 wheeler insurance per year.
Still, choosing the ideal insurance policy is very important for protecting your business assets. Any accident can create a substantial financial problem in case you are uninsured.
Some of the key factors that determine 18 wheeler prices include:
- Driver’s age and gender
- Credit rating
- Location of operation
- Driving record and experience
- Value of the truck
How to Save on 18 Wheeler Insurance
Because 18 wheelers insurance is expensive, business owners are always on the lookout for different ways to save on their policies. Luckily, there are ways to save on your 18 wheeler insurance quote:
- Business Experience: If you are running a trucking business for more than three years, you are probably eligible for a discount.
- Commercial Driver’s License: For-hire truck drivers can usually save money on their insurance if they have a commercial driver’s license or CDL.
Finally, one of the best ways to get cheap 18 wheeler insurance is to shop around, talk to your insurance representative, and make a decision based on your specific needs and preferences.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, you might also want to read more about the best ways to keep your fleets safe with Fleets Insurance!
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