Find the Best Insurance for a Trucking Business

how to find best insurance for your trucking business insure truck fleet

Did you know that the U.S. trucking industry is worth over $700 billion? Or that recently the trucker sector employed 910,000 truck drivers?

After all, trucks haul and move more than two-thirds of all freight tonnage in the country. That's actually why 910,000 truckers aren't enough to move all the shipment the U.S. handles every year.

This driver shortage due to increased e-commerce and lower fuel prices is why your trucking business will be a great addition to the industry.

Before you can even start operations though, you first need to get the right trucking insurance coverage. Otherwise, you won't be able to move freight, whether within or outside of your state. Non-compliance can even lead to hefty fines and suspension of trucker driver’s licenses.

But with almost 6,000 insurance companies in the U.S., how do you choose the right provider? How can you make sure you're buying the right trucking insurance policy in the first place?

We’ll answer all these trucker insurance questions in this post, so be sure to keep reading!

Know Your Legal Liability Insurance Requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates liability insurance for interstate trucks. One reason it's required is that it covers damages you (or your drivers) may cause with your trucks. Such damages include injuries to other people or damage to their property.

The FMCSA also requires all trucking companies to meet minimum liability limits. This depends on the type of cargo your trucking business carries and hauls though.

If your trucks and their cargo weigh less than 10,001 pounds, your liability insurance limit is $300,000. This is the legally-required limit for non-hazardous freight.

For trucks and non-hazardous freight weighing more than 10,001 lbs., the limit should be at least $750,000. For oil-carrying trucks, the least liability coverage you need is $1,000,000. For hazardous material, the law says you need at least $5,000,000 liability coverage for truck transporting.

Without this legally-required liability insurance, you can't get an Operating Authority (MC number) for trucking. Without an MC number, you can't move your clients' federally-regulated commodities with your trucks.

Review Your Optional Truck Insurance Coverage Options

Owning a trucking business is like owning a personal vehicle -- you want your fleet to be on top of their game all the time. The thing is, your liability insurance will only cover injuries and damages to others.

If your truck sustains damages from an accident, you may have to shell out money for its repairs. The same goes true if thieves or vandals target your truck.

Worse, criminals may steal the cargo your trucks are moving for your customers! Keep in mind that a recent study showed almost 7.7 million property crimes took place in the country.

The good news is, you can get cheap semi truck insurance policies protecting you from these incidents.

There's collision coverage for helping repair or replace damaged trucks. There's also comprehensive coverage to protect your truck from theft and vandalism. Cargo insurance provides coverage for the load your trucks move for clients.

You can also find out more about auto service insurance coverage types here.

Work with an Insurer Offering All Essential Coverage Types

Now that you know which insurance coverage types you need, you may want to get them from a single provider. First, because this can give you access to big discounts since you'll buy more of their products. Second, it eliminates the need for multiple companies to contact in case you need to file a claim.

Shop and Compare as Many Insurance Policies as Possible

The only way to find the lowest trucking insurance rates is to compare different offers. Even a $5 difference in monthly premiums can already mean saving $60 a year for truckers! If you're getting a three-year term policy, that small difference can mean saving $180 for trucks. You also want to consider workers' compensation insurance as a trucker and if you qualify or not.

To get affordable yet quality insurance, get quotes from at least three truck insurers. Then, compare their inclusions and be sure they meet state and federal requirements.

Check Insurance Website for the Latest Cybersecurity Measures

If you're buying trucking business insurance online, check for site security first! At the very least, the site should have SSL security certificates. These security tools encrypt information you send online, including your credit card info.

Also, be sure to look for a "trust seal" before sharing any information with an insurance website. Look for an icon that says "Secure" or "Verified". These seals tell you that they have a security partner keeping the site free of cyber threats.

Confirm the Insurance Company's Legitimacy

You should also confirm the legitimacy of each prospective business insurance provider. You can contact your state's Department of Insurance, which regulates and oversees insurers. They can tell you which insurance companies have a license to operate in your state.

The DoI can also give you insight on insurance rates and a company's practices. You can even ask them about an insurer's history, such as complaints made against it, for a smarter future of your trucking business.

Look at the Insurance Provider’s Contact and Support Options

Before buying the best insurance policies online, check the provider's contact and support options first. At the very least, they should have online contact forms, email, and phone support. Contact the insurer through all these trucking policy coverage options and see how soon they get back to you.

If it takes the fleet insurer a long time to respond, consider that a red flag. If these truck insurers can't answer a simple question, imagine how long they may take to settle an insurance claim.

Look Up Customer Reviews

Look up customer reviews for each of your prospective truck insurance providers. These are great sources of insights on which truck insurance companies are reliable. These can help you find out more about their claims processes or quality of customer support.

Also, pay attention to conversations in message forums of online trucking resources. Some of these trucker sites even let non-members ask questions. If you come across these sites, don't hesitate to ask help from veteran truckers.

Get the Best Insurance Deal for Your Trucking Business Now

The best insurance for your trucking business doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg, but you need to do your homework. So long as you follow all the truck driver coverage tips we've given, it won't be long before you find an insurance provider you can trust for your trucks and drivers.

Once you have all legal business must-haves, then you can begin marketing your company as a top trucker! 

Start by following these tips we have on creating a better website. And be sure your website indicates you have a fully-insured trucking business! Keep on trucking with your business!

Official Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer Partners And News Outlets