Obtaining commercial truck insurance coverage is no small feat. You don’t want to spend more time buying a policy than you actually do driving. Insurance is a necessary evil for many, but it doesn’t have to be such a burden on your wallet.
In fact, when you learn how to shop for commercial trucking insurance the right way, it becomes a major investment and a valuable part of your business. If you avoid these six mistakes, you’ll be able to get the coverage you need and hit the road with confidence.
Buying from the First Provider You Find
It’s easier than ever to hop online, type “commercial trucking insurance” into Google, and be on a company website in less than five minutes. Usually, you’ll wind up with some pretty good providers to choose from on the first page. But are they really giving you the best deal for the coverage your business needs?
Insurance might be mandatory, but that doesn’t make it any less personal. Truckers need to understand what type of insurance they need, which optional policies they should add, and how much they should be paying. If you’re confused by trucking insurance, you’re not alone. Going with the first provider may be easy, but also costly.
Taking a High-Deductible Plan to Pay Less
High-deductible plans cost less per month, but also often come with fewer benefits and coverage limits. Your plan needs to strike the right balance between cost and service. If your deductible is too high, your out of pocket expense may be financially devastating.
One way to cut back on the cost of insurance is to pay for the entire year in-full as most insurance companies offer a paid-in-full discount. Then, with a lower deductible, you’ll ultimately pay less in the event of an accident.
High-deductible plans seem like a great way to save when you’re just looking at them on paper. When an accident occurs, however, you will be wishing you had that lower deductible to help cover the expenses.
Not Shopping for Insurance Every Year
Insurance rates change each year. So too does your exposure to insurance companies. For example, the longer you maintain a clean driving record and claims history, the more insurance companies what will become interested in insuring your operation. This makes it possible to save more on your policy just by switching to a different provider.
Make a point to comparison shop every year before your current insurance policy expires. You can never be on the road without trucking insurance, but you should never pay more than you must for quality coverage either.
Comparison shopping isn’t just about money, though. Remember to look at the different services, enhancements, and the benefits each company offers. Sometimes, you might be okay with how much you’re paying but realize another company offers you even more for the same cost.
Not Reading Your Policy
Many drivers wind up being thrown for a loop by their provider because they didn’t fully understand the terms and conditions of their coverage. Ask questions now instead of later. Call your insurance provider or independent agent and ask to explain the policy to you in layman’s terms. Insurance jargon tends to be confusing and you might miss crucial information if you skip over wordy sections.
Not Researching Trucking Insurance
Commercial trucking insurance is much different than regular auto insurance. It costs more, has different requirements, and even more limitations and exclusions than traditional policies. Take the time to learn about the types of trucking insurance out there. This includes the difference between non-trucking liability and bobtail insurance, trailer interchange coverage and physical damage insurance. As your knowledge of insurance increases, so too will your ability to manage your operation’s risk exposures.
Letting Someone Else Pick Your Plan for You
In today’s busy world, many business owners make the purchasing of insurance an administrative task. This often leads to empowering someone without the same understanding of your financial exposure in charge of protecting it. When you educate yourself on the ins and outs of trucking insurance, you’re more equipped to decide which exposures you want to self-insure or shift to an insurance company.
Commercial trucking and general business insurance are complex products. Working with an independent insurance agent who specializes in the trucking industry can help you navigate your options. With their guidance and expertise, they can help identify your exposures to risk and the best, affordable solutions to cover them.