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Insurance

03/13/10

Insurance

  09:58:48 am, Categories: efficiencies , Tags: insurance

When you drive a truck, your insurance coverage is probably one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive, item on your books. It is definitely no place to cut corners. Being under-insured or not having insurance at all can be financially devastating. Before you pick up the phone or log onto the internet in search of coverage, know what kind of insurance coverage you require. Understanding the different kinds of insurance that truckers usually buy, consider, or are concerned about can help you customize your insurance package.

  1. Primary Liability Insurance
    Primary liability insurance is the type of insurance needed for a driver in the United States to stay legal while on the road. Drivers with these types of policies have coverage for others' injuries and damage to others' vehicles as a result of an accident. For truck drivers to drive legally, they must have $750,000 worth of coverage. This means that their insurance will cover up to $750,000 of damage or injury to the other party in an accident.

  2. General Liability Insurance
    Accidents don't just happen when truckers are on the highway. Truckers spend a great deal of time parked in truck stop lots, waiting in rest stops, or loading and unloading. While truckers are either in or away from their rigs, accidents can occur involving another vehicle and their parked vehicle. In addition, thefts and vandalism are also possible. Truckers who want insurance to cover damages in these conditions should consider general liability insurance, which covers the vehicle in conditions other than on-the-road driving. While coverage limits may start at $100,000, per incident coverage is generally recommended at $1,000,000.

  3. Physical Damage Insurance (Comprehensive and Collision)
    Physical Damage Insurance is coverage for your truck and trailer. This coverage is for repair or replacement for damage resulting from things such as collision, fire, theft, hail, windstorm, earthquake, flood, mischief, or vandalism to your owned vehicles. Pricing is based on the value of your equipment and usually pays a percentage of that value. This coverage may be required by the lien holder of your vehicle.

  4. Motor Truck Cargo Insurance
    This type of insurance does not cover your vehicle; instead it covers the cargo that you're carrying. This offers both the transportation company and the client the assurance that the items will get where they need to go, or their loss will be compensated.

  5. Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
    Also called bobtail or deadhead insurance, this type of insurance covers your vehicle when you're not working. Typically, the company that you're working for covers your vehicle when you're on the job, however its not covered if the truck is parked in your driveway, getting repaired, or otherwise not working. You might want to pick up this insurance to protect your investment in all circumstances.

  6. Legal Requirements

    Like any other job, truckers are not only asked to meet the requirements of their employers, but they are also required to meet legal requirements in order to stay on the road. Insurance is mandated by all 50 states. This requirement is not devised simply to charge truckers more money. Instead, it is a way of protecting drivers who are involved in an accident that is not their fault.

The minimum insurance coverage required for Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more:

  • $750,000 (BI & PD) for General Commodities (non-hazardous)
  • $1 Million (BI & PD) hazardous except class A & B explosives
  • $5 Million (BI & PD) Class A & B explosives, Hazardous materials transported in specified capacities in tanks or hoppers and/or any quantity of hazardous materials as specified in 49 CFR 173.403 of the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations.
  • For vehicles with a Gross Weight Rating (GVWR) of less than 10,000 pounds:
    $300,000 (BI & PD) for general commodities except any materials listed below.

    $5 Million (BI & PD) Any quantity of Class A or B explosives, for any quantity of Poison as (Poison A) or highway route controlled quantity of radioactive materials.

o be sure that there is an accident packet in all of your equipment.
Here are some things to do in the event of an accident:

  • Call the police immediately; leave your vehicle in place until the police arrive.
  • Complete your Accident reporting form and Medical Questionnaire.
  • Get information from any witnesses (name, phone numbers etc).
  • Where they involved in the accident?
  • Did they see the accident?
  • Was anyone injured in the accident?
  • What caused the accident to occur?
  • Take pictures. You should carry a camera of some kind in your tractor. Pictures really can be worth a thousand words.
  • Draw a map indicating what caused the accident to occur. Show traffic lights, stop signs, yield signs etc. and street names.
  • Do not discuss fault or any other details of the accident at the scene with anyone except the police, your claims department or your agent.
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Call your agent.

It's an unhappy fact of transportation companies that accidents happen. But being prepared and knowing what type of insurance is needed, and knowing what to do in case of an accident will help you immensely.

Donna Bratton
TruckMaster Solution Provider
TruckMaster Your Trucking Company

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