Whether you own a large fleet or work as an owner-operator, complete intrastate cargo deliveries or cross-border hauls, obtaining the appropriate trucking insurance in the RGV is an essential step in protecting your fleet and yourself against incidents of all kinds. Unfamiliar with trucking insurance? Just getting started in the trucking world? Here is a beginner-friendly guide to trucking insurance 101. It will introduce you to the basics of finding, and using, insurance for your fleet.
Trucking Insurance: An Overview
Before you look for trucking insurance, you need to understand what it is, and why it is important for your trucking operation. Commercial trucking insurance is a type of financial protection, like auto insurance, that protects you from the financial impacts of accidents and other incidents outside your control.
Just as auto insurance allows you to choose from multiple coverage options to get the right policy for your needs, trucking insurance comes in many forms that you can tailor to your fleet’s requirements. An experienced insurance agent, like those here at SafeGuard Insurance Agency, can help you navigate your many choices to help you find the policies that best fit your requirements and budget.
Trucking Insurance Legal Requirements
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state laws require fleet owners and owner-operators to carry certain types of commercial trucking insurance. In particular, most truck owners must carry primary liability and general liability coverage in order to pay for property damage and physical injuries for which you or your drivers are at fault.
Over and above these legal requirements, however, trucking insurance can offer protection that can save your business from bankruptcy or financial stress in the event of an accident or other incident. As a result, you may benefit from coverages that go beyond the requirements of the law, such as bobtail coverage, motortruck cargo insurance, and uninsured or under insured motorist coverage.
If you need to know more about which coverages are required by law for your operation, and which coverages, or amounts, will best protect your business, trucks, and drivers, consulting with an experienced insurance agent can give you the insight you need.
Trucking Insurance vs. Auto Insurance
While trucking insurance may feel unfamiliar to you, the reality is that this form of insurance is similar in many ways to auto insurance. From offering similar coverages (e.g., Property damage, physical damage, etc.), to a similar claims process (Contacting your insurance company and submitting a claim after a qualifying incident), trucking insurance works much the same as auto insurance.
However, trucking insurance does differ in one important way: It is tailored to your needs as a trucking fleet manager or owner-operator. That means that the levels of coverage differ from auto insurance, and that there are additional coverages available that you cannot find with auto insurance. As a result, your auto insurance will not protect your fleet. Instead, you should invest in appropriate, specialized commercial trucking insurance from a reputable company.
Types of Trucking Insurance
There are many types of trucking insurance from which you can choose when building a policy for your business. What follows is a look at some of the most common coverages, but remember that your insurance agent may be able to direct you to additional policy types that may work for your business.
Commercial Auto Liability Coverage
Also known as primary liability coverage, this type of truck insurance is one of the two types required by the FMCSA. This policy protects you against property damage or physical injury caused by your business-owned vehicles. This type of policy may also help pay for legal expenses if you are sued as the result of an accident.
Trucker’s General Liability Coverage
General liability insurance for truckers covers expenses that occur from incidents apart from accidents on the road. This type of coverage will protect you anytime an incident occurs while your truck is off the road. Examples may include while loading or unloading the truck, on a client’s property, and other occurrences.
Physical Damage Coverage
Physical damage coverage protects your fleet against damage caused by accidents or other events. Covered events may include natural disasters, vandalism, and theft. Physical damage insurance can encompass several types of policies from which you can choose based on your needs.
Motortruck Cargo Coverage
This type of coverage may protect you if the cargo you are transporting is lost, stolen, or damaged while in your care.
Occupational accident insurance provides protection for your truckers and other employees if they are injured while on the job.
The complexity of carrying cargo across borders means that you may benefit from cross-border insurance. This type of coverage protects your fleet while they are traveling over borders.
Non-Trucking Liability Coverage
Non-trucking liability coverage protects you against incidents that occur while the truck is not being operated as part of a job. For example, if you are driving your truck back after unloading cargo or using the car for personal means and get into an accident, this type of coverage would apply.
How to Choose Appropriate Trucking Insurance Coverages
The right trucking insurance for your needs will depend upon several factors. That is why the best way to determine the appropriate coverage for your operation is to discuss your situations with an insurance agency like SafeGuard. We work with you to help you find coverages that fit your circumstances. Some factors that may influence the types and amounts of coverage you require are the following;
- Your fleet size
- The types of cargo you haul
- The distance your trucks travel
- State and federal requirements
- Whether you travel across borders
- And more
Many factors can influence not just the types of coverages you choose, but also the premiums you pay. To get appropriate coverage for your needs, you need the guidance of an experienced insurance agent. SafeGuard Insurance Agency is here. We offer fast, efficient, 24/7 service to help you more promptly find and get the trucking insurance in McAllen that will protect your trucks.