Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Commercial Trucking Insurance for Trucking Companies and Truck Drivers

Commercial truckers spend many long hours on the road and often experience hazardous driving conditions. Because of the higher risk of an accident, carrying a sufficient amount of trucking insurance is essential. As an insurance producer, choosing the right carrier can ensure your clients have the coverages they require and receive prompt, reliable service during the claims process.

Commercial trucking insurance covers truck drivers with or without experience and it covers all types of trucks used for business purposes. Prime Insurance Company is an excess and surplus lines insurance company, specializing in solutions for specialty and declined risks. Even if your client’s trucking company has been declined coverage or canceled, non-renewed, etc., we can help. Our customized liability insurance solutions have been successful in the trucking marketplace for over 40 years!

Types of Commercial Trucking Insurance Plans We Offer

Whether you need short-haul trucking insurance for local routes or long-haul trucking insurance for extended over-the-road trips, Prime can offer a customized liability plan that meets your clients’ unique coverage requirements:

Classes

  • Long-Haul Trucking
  • Short-Haul Trucking
  • Tow Trucks
  • Dump Trucks
  • Garbage Trucks
  • Delivery Trucks
  • Truck Drivers
  • And More!

Coverages

  • Commercial Auto Liability (available in most states)
  • Commercial Auto Physical Damage
  • New Operators Coverage
  • Hired & Non-Owned Auto (HNOA)
  • Motor Truck Cargo
  • Terminal Operation
  • Excess Auto Liability
  • Dealer Plate/Transport Plate liability

Long-Haul Trucking Insurance Topics

What Are the Parts of Long-Haul Trucking Insurance?

Because business insurance coverage should be customized to match your individual business plan and the services you offer, insurance is becoming increasingly modular. This allows for a great deal of individual control when you’re looking to modify your current insurance coverage or are looking for a new company. This is especially true in the long-haul trucking industry because insurance requirements can fluctuate based on a large number of factors such as the state, the materials being transported, and whether you’re an independent contractor or own a larger long-haul trucking business. Here are some elements of coverage that you should always keep in mind when looking for an insurance plan that best fits your business:

  • Auto liability and auto physical damage: These two components of insurance are often mistaken for each other but both are essential. One covers you in the event of an accident in which you are liable for damages to another’s property and the latter provides coverage for damages to your own property — in this case, your vehicle.
  • Hired and non-owned coverage: Similar to the liability insurance listed above, hired and non-owned coverage covers you for damage caused by a vehicle you hire, or a vehicle that belongs to one of your employees,  any event of injury or property damage.
  • Motor truck cargo: Because the cargo or freight being hauled by a trucker is not covered through auto-specific insurance coverage, it is essential that you add this component to your plan because it covers your liability for Lost and damaged cargo

Terminal operations: This insurance option is to prevent catastrophic loss. It covers damage to vehicles that are stored together in locations such as a garage or lot.

How To Reduce Trucking Accidents

Trucking accidents are an unfortunate risk of the industry, and all too common. The stats show that it is a major problem. In 2017, 69 percent of accidents resulting in fatalities involved tractor-trailers. Deaths increased from truck accidents in 2018. Major contributing factors were:

  • vehicle failure
  • overcompensating while steering evasively
  • tailgating
  • driver fatigue and physical impairment

Looking at these significant contributing factors give us clear ideas about how to reduce trucking accidents. Here are some ways to protect individuals and businesses by reducing trucking accidents.

Avoid Driver Fatigue

Because the trucking industry has typically paid by the mile or the load, not by the hour, fatigued driving is a big problem. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates required break times and maximum hours of driving allowable. Trucking companies and their drivers need to abide by the limits set out by the law and by company policy.

If an accident does occur and the driver is not covered by insurance, he/she and his/her employer can be held liable for any resulting damages, injuries, or death. No delivery is worth a life.

Drivers should stay away from controlled substances that purport to offer wakefulness or focus. The money earned or saved by pushing beyond safe limits is not worth the risk.

Teach Safety Skills – And Go Beyond

Trucking training helps reduce unsafe behaviors. Unless safety policies reinforce this training, it will not do much. It is beneficial to train drivers continually, instead of training new hires and calling it quits. Refresher courses promote safety, as does training that considers new regulations and seasonal changes.

Safety needs to be a commitment and corporate cultural cornerstone from the top down. If management does not care about safety, why should anyone else?

Always Inspect and Maintain

Regulators set strict rules for the maintenance and operation of commercial vehicles. Unless drivers are regularly inspecting and maintaining their fleet and operating under the right circumstances, mechanical failure is sure to be a problem. Something as simple as distributing a load improperly can have tragic consequences. And brake defects are a common cause for trucks to be taken out of service. Failing to complete inspections, maintenance, and the associated documentation means liability could transfer to the driver following an accident.

Are Your Long-Haul Trucking Clients High Risk?

The increasing need for overland transport combined with the retirement of an aging workforce has created a truck driver shortage. On the face of it, times ought to be good for truck drivers but the reality is different. What remains of the driving workforce must bear the brunt of the increasing demand for long-haul trucking services. This means they must transport more loads at ever tighter delivery schedules.

This problem is exacerbated by the rise of e-commerce, which has placed pressure on the trucking industry for faster deliveries at a lower cost. All of this sums up to stressed and overworked truck drivers sharing the road with the driving public, which leads to increased trucking accidents and litigation against the truck drivers and their carrier companies.

An Inexperienced Workforce

Long-haul trucking has never been an easy way of making a living. While there are individuals who are drawn to and even thrive in the profession, many new-hires never adjust to the grueling 2,000 or 3,000 miles per week of driving combined with the long periods of time away from their families. Because their employers are operating on thin margins, the pay is low and is often based on covered mileage.

These factors, combined with demanding delivery schedules, result in a high annual turnover rate. This leads to a perpetual workforce of inexperienced drivers who lack the driving and safety skills that can only be gained by years of road experience. Carriers with a large percentage of new-hire drivers face a high risk of accidents and civil litigation, many of which could be negligent hiring lawsuits.

Long-Haul Trucking Insurance and Risks

Here are three accident scenarios for which your rental client may be held liable:

Risk #1: Tire Blowout

Chronic underinflation will damage the rubber and sidewall belting in tires. This damage doesn’t go away even after the affected tires are re-inflated to their proper pressure. A renter could abuse the rig’s tires in this way and then re-inflate them before returning the truck to the rental company. The company might then rent the truck to another customer without knowledge of the tire damage. The customer may then use the truck on a hot day (which stresses the damaged tires) and experience a blowout that damages the truck, cargo, and involves several motorists.

Risk #2: Wheel-Off Accident

Improperly installed wheels may come off while the rig is on the road. Excessive torque on the lug nuts can overstress and weaken the studs, which can break and cause a wheel to come off the trailer. Under-torqued nuts can come loose and cause a wheel-off accident. This mistake can be made by a renter or by the rental company. Runaway wheels have crashed into the windshields of moving cars, struck pedestrians, and crashed into the windows of nearby buildings.

Risk #3: Underride Accident

Poor maintenance of the rear underride guard of trailers has caused underride accidents. However, this accident can also occur when a car strikes the unprotected side of the trailer. This can happen when missing or burnt-out trailer lights, or missing reflective strips make the trailer invisible at night. Empty flat-bed trailers are very difficult to see at night from the side, and the lack of lightning and reflective tapes will exacerbate the problem.

This night invisibility has caused cars to strike the trailer’s side without every braking before impact. Such accidents are catastrophic to the occupants of the car. Failing to wash mud off the lights and reflectors of a trailer can also cause the same problem.

Cargo Theft: A Growing Threat To Your Long-Haul Trucking Clients

Cargo Theft has always been a problem for the long-haul trucking industry. In past decades, it was often a crime of opportunity. A trailer full of goods was left overnight in a dark and remote area with only padlocked trailer doors for security, and a thief would seize the opportunity with little premeditation. Although such opportunistic heists still abound today, an increasing number of cargo theft incidents are sophisticated and well-planned crimes.

Cargo theft isn’t limited to high-value items such as pharmaceuticals, computers, and electronics. Sometimes food and drink shipments are targeted because of their relaxed security and the greater ease of fencing them off. An added benefit is these goods are consumable, which makes their long-term tracking by law enforcement more difficult. As should be clear, cargo theft is an ongoing risk that won’t go away anytime soon.

Two Key Elements of Long-Haul Trucking Insurance

Long-haul trucking insurance can be complicated, especially when you travel across state lines and don’t know what you’ll be carrying from one week to the next. There are numerous different considerations that come into play when you’re choosing the best insurance for your long haul trucking coverage. Here are two easily overlooked areas for customization to keep in mind when you’re shopping for new coverage:

Company Rating

A lot of the time, especially if you’re an independently contracted trucker instead of one working for a corporation, insurance coverage is not just for your own peace of mind but also for that of your client or contracted employers. That’s why it’s critical that you find coverage through a company that has high ratings through an independent source. For example, the A.M. Best Company gives insurance providers ratings based on financial stability and the strength and reliability of their coverage. Using a company that has a high rating not only guarantees you that you will be covered in the event of an accident or claim but it also reassures your clients that they are working with a professional that has them covered.

Easily Customized Coverage

While there are a few national standards for trucking insurance coverage, which can be found on the United States Department of Transportation website, they’re also a lot of regulations that can change based on the state you’re in, what you are transporting, and sometimes, if you’re working for a government agency as opposed to a private corporation, who you’re transporting it for. Because different jobs require different types of insurance you’ll want to find a company that can keep those changes and mind and can help you customize your coverage for the specifics of your business quickly.

More Information About Commercial Trucking Insurance

You'll Appreciate Our Direct Underwriting Process

Prime offers a streamlined underwriting process that saves time and eliminates hassles. Our in-house underwriting and risk management teams will work directly with your clients, making it quicker and easier to obtain the necessary information for prompt coverage decisions. Depending on the circumstance, we can also make on-site risk management visits.

Efficient Handling of All Commercial Trucking Insurance Claims

Accidents are inevitable, even if your clients hire the most qualified, conscientious drivers and implement stringent training and safety protocols. Our in-house attorneys and adjusters will handle all claims efficiently and fairly while keeping you and your clients in the loop throughout the process providing you with rapid response underwriting, policy service and change requests, risk management support, and a 24/7 in-house claims hotline if an incident or claim occurs.

Flexible Financing Options

Affordability can be an issue when attempting to write an excess and surplus lines policy. Prime can offer premium financing through Greenlight Premium Financing Company to make the cost more manageable for your clients. Greenlight provides secure payment methods, extensive account management, and fast online inquiry response service.

Risk Mitigation Services

Our support doesn’t end when your client becomes a valued Prime policyholder. Our in-house risk management team can help you and your client develop and implement strategies that reduce the likelihood of filing claims. Our mitigation services can keep premiums from skyrocketing and reduce liability insurance costs.

Excellent Rating

As an insurance producer, your credibility depends on making reliable recommendations to your clients. Prime has earned a stellar “A” (Excellent) rating from AM Best, a U.S.-based crediting rating agency serving the insurance industry since 1899. You can speak of our company’s exceptional financial stability with complete confidence.

Free MVR E-Book

Driver safety is the biggest source of fleet liability risk. Whether a business has a fleet of trucks or just one or two salespeople on the road, it could be at risk for a costly lawsuit. Many companies don’t realize they have an important duty of care to do all they can to ensure they put only safe drivers on the roads. An MVR on each driver, monitored monthly, can help the company achieve this- driver after driver.

Download this FREE ebook to learn about MVR Monitoring and Reporting in the Transportation Industry to share with your clients so they can use it as a guideline!

Get a Commercial Trucking Insurance Quote Today

Discover all the advantages of choosing Prime for your trucking insurance needs. If there are any questions or urgent requests, please contact us today at 1-800-257-5590 or quotes@primeis.com.

Please note: 

Presently, we do not offer any Commercial Auto coverage in New York. Secondary auto such as drive-away or non-owned auto coverage is available in all states.

Commercial Auto coverage is available in Illinois, Nevada, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Kentucky, and Kansas through our admitted carrier, Prime Property & Casualty Insurance Inc.

Prime Insurance Company will not bind a risk until all required information, documentation, and applicable premium is expressly received and accepted by Prime.

Ready to Apply?

You may submit an application online by clicking the “GET A QUOTE” button, or download and fill out the application and supplemental documentation. If you download the application you may either submit them via email, fax or postal mail.