Trailer Interchange Insurance
Coverage from Agents Who Know Trucks
What Is Trailer Interchange Insurance?
Imagine this scenario. You’re hauling a trailer when you stop and park the vehicle to either refuel, grab a quick bite, or use the washroom at the gas station. While doing any of these activities, your truck gets stolen.
Now, apart from the problem of the theft itself, there are other issues you’ll need to deal with. Since the trailer you were hauling doesn’t belong to you, it cannot be covered by comprehensive insurance policies or property damage insurance. This is where something known as “trailer interchange insurance” comes into play.
What Exactly is Trailer Interchange Insurance?
Like in the above scenario, truckers sometimes need to transfer loads to another trucking company for various reasons. If the load or the trailer carrying the load is damaged due to some reason during this process, trailer interchange insurance provides coverage for this damage. Therefore, trailer interchange insurance covers any damage that is caused to a trailer that isn’t owned (non-owned trailer) which is under the care of a trucker/operator while it is under a written trailer interchange agreement.
This coverage can be purchased by independent truckers or the trucking company who needs to transfer goods. However, this type of insurance is becoming less common these days as trailer interchange agreements are reducing in number. Instead, less formal agreements are made in such cases, where a “non-owned trailer physical damage” policy would be required instead.
The Coverage Provided by Trailer Interchange Insurance
Basically, the insurance policy covers trailers that truckers use. It covers the following:
- Physical damage during loading and unloading
- Any other physical damage
Sometimes, shippers and motor carriers require trailer interchange insurance before you can do any business with them.
How Much Does This Insurance Cost?
The answer to this question lies on solely on the limit and the deductible amount you choose and on an average, can cost anywhere between $100-1,500 a year. Many factors influence the cost of trailer interchange insurance, such as location, the value of the damaged equipment, the driving record of the trucker, and any loss history.
Limit Requirements of the Policy
On an average, the limit required by transfer interchange insurance is anywhere between $20,000-30,000, with a deductible of $1,000. The key to choosing the right limit is assessing the actual cash value of the trailer. Remember, insurance companies will only pay the value of the trailer and not the entire limit of the policy, in the case of an accident. Therefore, ensure you don’t waste money with too high a limit while also ensuring you don’t lose money by under-insuring and then having to pay from your own pocket.
Do You Need Trailer Interchange Insurance?
If you belong to one of the following groups, trailer interchange insurance can be highly beneficial to you:
- Intermodal Truckers: Intermodal truckers are those covered by the UIIA Agreement (the Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement). The UIIA requires member truckers to be covered by trailer interchange insurance, with the amount depending on the provider of the equipment.
- Power-Only Drivers: Power-only drivers are generally hired to haul empty trailers as a loadout. Such drivers are expected to be covered by trailer interchange insurance before they are hired.
- Leased Operators: Sometimes, leased drivers are expected to have trailer interchange insurance. Always check with the company if this is required.
- Independent Owner/Operators: Many times, independent owners/operators will have to pull trailers under a trailer interchange agreement as they cannot be protected by physical damage insurance (as they don’t own the trailer). Thus, trailer interchange coverage is a good option.
Insurance for the first two categories can take some effort. Trailer owners will have to be listed on the insurance as certificate holders, which means that everytime a new shipper comes into the picture, a new certificate needs to be added. Thus, it is important to find an insurance provider who can do this quickly for you.
Non-Owned Trailer Coverage vs Trailer Interchange Insurance
There exist differences between these two types of insurance. Non-owned trailer insurance coverage comes into the picture for a non-owned trailer only when it is attached to an owned or covered power unit. Trailer interchange insurance, on the other hand, covers all liabilities with regard to the trailer when in possession of the trucker, though it requires the trailer interchange agreement to be in effect in the first place.
Picking the Right Insurance Provider
Always look for the following characteristics in an insurance provider, while purchasing trailer interchange insurance:
- A quick response
- Knowledge regarding the subject at hand (trailer interchange insurance and non-owned trailer insurance)
- Offers you “bundling” opportunities
- Offers value for money
Picking the Right Insurance Provider
Though trailer interchange insurance is becoming less common these days, that doesn’t take away from its effectiveness. This type of insurance can protect and cover for damages that would otherwise burn a hole in the pockets of companies and truckers alike, especially those of the latter category who are independent owners/operators. As is always the case with insurance, it is better to be safe than sorry, which is why trailer interchange insurance is a great option for truckers!
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