All You Need to Know about Long Haul Trucking Insurance
In the trucking business, finding insurance for long haul truckers can be very difficult. Long haulers also require the same types of truck insurance such as primary liability, cargo insurance, physical damage coverage and so on. The only difference is that these truckers will haul cargo and goods over long distances, sometimes over a radius of 500 miles.
This means that truckers will be on the road for long periods of time and their work schedules are not defined by nine-to-five routines. It also means that long haul truckers require insurance coverage in the middle of the night, far away from their business premise and sometimes even on weekends.
This is why many insurance companies are hesitant to insure long haul truckers. It is really a matter of the amount of risk taken — the more number of miles a trucker drives, the more risk he takes of meeting with an accident. Some insurance companies provide coverage only up to a 300-mile radius, whereas some other provide up to a 500-mile radius. Very few insurance companies agree to provide coverage beyond a 500-mile radius.
As an owner-operator who is transitioning into a long haul trucker, your current insurance provider may provide coverage to the increased driving area. You don’t necessarily have to find a new insurance policy or company. Although it is recommended to shop around for insurance providers that specialize in LHT, it might make sense to stick with your current insurance company.
On the other hand, if you are new to the trucking business, as an owner-operator with your own authority you could probably go for one of the bigger, more popular insurance companies. Once you are seasoned enough in the industry, you may be able to negotiate better LHT deals from smaller insurance agencies that may have initially not agreed.
Here are some of the requirements to apply for a long haul trucking insurance policy:
- A trucker’s application that is completed
- Information about the driver such as CDL experience
- Motor vehicle records
- Any losses or claims in the last 3 years
- Some carriers ask for IFTAs (International Fuel Tax Agreement)
- Other financial documents
Insurance companies ask for the above information and calculate how much of a risk you will be to them. Higher the risk means higher the premium amount that will be quoted to you.
Long haul trucking insurance is generally more expensive than if the trucking business is operating in an area of smaller radius. However, there are still some things that can be done to reduce your monthly bills:
- Take Only Relevant Coverage: Some important coverages like liability, physical damage and cargo insurance are mandatory. But some insurance companies try to include coverages that you absolutely don’t require so that your premium amount increases. For instance, if you operate only within 250-300-mile radius of your business location then make sure your company has charged you for just that much and not for a 500-mile radius coverage.
- Ask for Higher Deductibles: In order for your monthly premium amount to be lowered you can ask for higher deductibles — the amount that you will have to pay out of your pocket when an accident does occur. But be careful with this one, sometimes if your deductibles are very low you might have to pay large lump sums of money for damages during an accident and that will defeat the purpose of having trucking insurance.
- Compare Quotes from Multiple companies: If you are switching to a long haul trucking business then consider which would be cheaper — continuing with your current insurance provider or buying a fresh insurance policy from a new company.
- Maintain a Good Driving Record: This is a no brainer. Considering the amount of risk involved in buying LHT insurance, it helps if you can show a driving history with excellent records and a well seasoned driver with commercialdriver’s license. Showing a safe driving record illustrates responsibility and it will mean that you are not high risk for the insurance company.
Due to their immense size, when flatbed trucks run empty, they become extremely lightweight and can get disbalanced. While going through slippery or uneven surfaces, if the trailer dives down, it could get seriously damaged and also cause injuries to the driver and public. It is important to have the foresight to be protected against such risks.
Flatbed trailers haul huge and often dangerous freight including metals, pipes, beams and heavy machinery. Cargo spills and other casualties are not uncommon with the vehicle. Flatbed truck insurance is an assortment of various coverages that comprehensively protect you against damage, loss and injury liabilities.
- Liability Insurance: This is mandatory and covers damages to others’ property in the event of an accident by the flatbed truck driver. It would not be possible to run the trailer on the road and haul goods without this fundamental coverage.
- Physical Damage: It protects against damages to the trailer in the case of a collision. It can also cover fire and theft. In some cases, interception on highways by motorists, other vehicles or even deer can cause the trailer to collide.
- Securement Coverage: This is a specific insurance plan only for flatbed trucks that protects the equipment that secures the cargo, including the ramp, chain, tarp and binder.
- Flatbed Cargo Insurance: This is a crucial part of the flatbed truck insurance pie. It covers damages done to the goods being hauled. In many cases, the cost of the goods is enormously high and the insurance amount must match that. In case a particular load requires higher coverage than you have, you can procure a temporary coverage certificate and assure the shipper.
- Trailer Interchange: This is coverage in the situation where you own the tractor, but also haul freight in various flatbed trailers owned by other companies. This is important or it may lead to you being solely responsible for liabilities in the case of an untoward event.
What you should especially keep in mind as a long haul trucker is to find a Long Haul Trucking Insurance company that is quick and efficient in its claims service, because you will be on the road at odd hours of the night, weekends and on holidays. Should an accident occur at, say 1 AM around 400 miles away from your business premises, will your insurance company be able to provide claims service to you within 24 hours?
This is important because you should, ideally, be able to deal with accidentsituation, recover from it as soon as possible or make alternative arrangements so that your shipment is delivered on time.
At East Insurance Group, we strive to provide you with a gamut of insurance policy options that will suit your specific needs. Give us a call today and find out what we can do for you.
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