Every truck that hits the road in the United States is required to carry liability insurance by law. Even if there weren’t a solid law in place, since freight companies are worth millions, the failure to be insured would ruin them financially the first time they were involved in an accident. In the trucking industry, accidents happen, no matter how well trained the drivers are and how careful they drive, accidents will happen eventually. Most insurance laws are regulated at the state level but federal regulators insist on all interstate truck haulers to be well insured.
There Are Various Coverages That Can Be Purchased
As with car insurance, the basic level always starts off with liability. This will cover the medical costs of the person driving the truck and any passengers that are riding in the truck as well. The liability will also cover the medical expenses of the other party involved in the accident if the accident is determined to be the fault of the truck driver. The same goes for property damage liability, if the driver of the truck is deemed to be the guilty party, then property damage to the other car or any other property is covered by liability coverage.
There will also be an optional coverage that will repair the truck itself in the event that it is damaged in an at-fault accident. Since trucks are very expensive, nearly all of them on the road will carry this coverage and any lender that has loaned on the vehicle will require it, at least enough to cover their interest in the truck.
Cargo Insurance Is Also A Common Coverage
This insurance is meant to cover the cargo that the truck would be hauling when it was involved in the accident. Depending on the type of cargo, the expense of replacing it could cost more than the truck. There are additional riders that could also cover late deliveries on time-sensitive cargo as well but that would usually apply to fresh meats or produce, or something similar.
The Premiums For Truck Driver Insurance Are Computed Differently
Everyone is familiar with the way that accidents and traffic tickets can lead to higher rates on their car insurance but trucks are computed a little differently. In a car, only those accidents that are determined to be the drivers fault are counted. In truck driver insurance, many of the companies count all accidents regardless of fault. This is to encourage drivers to avoid all accidents, no matter what. Traffic violations are then added into the formula and a rate is decided.
Any gap in insurance is considered a high risk by the company so it’s important to always have coverage and never let the insurance lapse out. The penalty can be quite high for having uninsured gaps in your coverage. With each company, there are different considerations that are more or less important. If you have some less than stellar drivers, trucks, or problems with cargo, there are some companies that rate these problems higher than others. That makes it important to shop around occasionally to make sure you’re getting the best rate and coverage.
If it’s been awhile since you took a look at your coverage and rates, just before renewal is a good time to compare other companies. Get all of your documents, driver histories, and truck documents together to get the most accurate quote. You don’t need to switch but it can be comforting to know you are getting a good rate with the company you already have as well.