FAQ – Trucking

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Why do I Need General Liability Coverage With My Trucking Policy?

A trucking general liability policy is typically required by the federal government before you’re issued a permit to operate. Besides that, a general liability policy can protect your trucking business from the risks of property damage and bodily injury that the work itself presents.

Contact an agent to get the best coverage for your business.

What Does Cargo Insurance Cover?

Cargo insurance can help cover the cost of cargo that’s lost or damaged on the way to its destination due to accidents, fire, or theft. It can also cover the cost of cleanup of debris or pollutants from a spill, the costs of preventing further loss to damaged cargo, legal expenses, and even freight charges lost when a load doesn’t make it to its destination.

Your Insurance Agent will take you through the various coverage levels to make sure you – and your haul – are protected.

What is a Filing?

A filing is a document that proves to the government that you carry liability or cargo insurance to the minimum federal and state requirements.

What Should I Look For in Hiring Drivers?

If you’re looking for drivers that you can count on to deliver (and not rack up insurance claims), you should look for people who are good communicators, cool-headed, aware of their surroundings, reliable, and mechanically handy with a clean driving record. Experience is a bonus, but an inexperienced driver with these qualities could quickly become the star of your fleet given some time on the road.

How are IFTAs Used in Insurance?

Some states that participate in IFTA require a motor fuel tax bond from carriers as a form of guarantee that they’ll file their tax returns and pay fuel taxes within the required time period. A bond isn’t usually a requirement in order to get an IFTA sticker, and usually comes into play when a trucking company has a history of issues with tax reporting and payment.

What is an Insurance Radius?

An insurance radius refers to the distance a truck travels from its principal garaging address. It’s used to calculate the cost of premiums for a trucking insurance policy.

Can I Drive Outside My Insurance Radius?

Some policies may allow for a few trips outside your radius a year, but generally speaking, if you want to keep your coverage, it’s a good idea to stay within your radius. Long-haul truckers can purchase unlimited radius coverage, but keep in mind it’s often more expensive than a more limited policy.

Do I Need Truck Insurance if I’m Driving a Pickup?

If you’re using a pickup truck as your regular daily driver, a personal auto insurance should be about all you need. On the other hand, if you’re using it to haul goods as a hot shot trucker, you’ll likely need commercial insurance, including a general liability plan. Your best bet is to talk your use of your pickup over with your agent to determine what coverage you need.

Is My DOT Information Important for Insurance?

A clean DOT record can certainly help save you money on your truck insurance rates. Keeping a good safety record, making sure your SAFER listings are accurate, and following all regulations ‘to a T’ can all help keep your DOT record sparkling and your insurance rates low.

Do Truck Insurance Ever Go Down?

While it might seem like your premiums are always going up, there are several factors under your control that can potentially lower them. Making sure your drivers are experienced with clean records, mapping out your routes to avoid high-traffic areas, composing your fleet of new or well-maintained trucks with modern equipment, and even considering a higher deductible can all work to lower your insurance bill.

Of course, talking to an agent about the particulars of your situation is the best way to see if there are any discounts you’re missing out on.

What Kind of Coverage do I Need for My Drivers?

At the very least, you’ll need primary and cargo liability coverage to cover your drivers. Depending on whether your drivers are employees or independent contractors, you might need a worker’s compensation policy or occupational accident/contingent casualty coverage as well. If you’ve got a relatively large operation, you might also need to offer health insurance to your drivers.

An experienced agent can look over your situation and help you determine what coverage your business needs.

What is an Occupational Accident and Contingent Casualty Policy?

An Occupational Accident policy is a policy designed to cover occupational injuries to drivers who are independent contractors and thus not covered by worker’s compensation insurance. A Contingent Casualty policy can cover your trucking business’ costs if an independent contractor is found by a court or other authority to be eligible for worker’s compensation in the wake of an accident.

Do I Need to Insure a Borrowed Trailer?

Unless you think you’ll enjoy replacing it out of your own pocket, the answer is yes, you need to insure a borrowed trailer. A Physical Damage policy often doesn’t provide adequate protection for borrowed trailers. If you have a written interchange agreement, a trailer interchange policy can cover damage to the borrowed trailer. A non-owned trailer policy can also do this, even in the absence of a written agreement, but only when the borrowed trailer is physically attached to your truck.

Can I Buy Coverage for Downtime When My Truck is Being Repaired?

If your truck is off the road for repairs, Trucker’s Downtime Insurance can help cover the loss of income to your business in the meantime. A rental reimbursement policy can also help with the costs of renting a replacement truck while your rig’s out of commission.

What is Non-Trucking Use (Bobtail) Coverage?

Bobtail coverage covers drivers and their trucks when they’re not hauling a load in between jobs. It also can cover truckers who are on their way home after dropping off a trailer. It sometimes does not apply if you’re hauling an empty trailer between jobs, so it’s a good idea to make yourself familiar with the limits of your bobtail policy before hopping in your truck to go get a sandwich.