If you own a car, you know that you need liability insurance to drive legally. If you own a trucking company, you know that there are several different types of insurance you are required to buy.
According to Simplex Group, truckers do have to buy primary liability insurance, but they need a lot more of it than the average driver. If a trucker transports goods across state lines in a vehicle that weighs over 10,000 pounds or if they transport hazardous material, they will have to follow the rules of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration.
The FMCSA requires that drivers have anywhere from $750,000 and $5,000,000 in coverage. The exact amount will depend on the type of cargo you carry.
Despite its name, liability insurance won’t cover anything for which you may be responsible. You will have cargo insurance to cover damage to your client’s products. You will need general liability insurance for your office, and you will need insurance to cover damages to your truck if your driver is responsible for a crash.
Trucking insurance liability is more complex than other types of insurance because trucks can cause multiple injuries, excessive property damage, and damage to the environment. Primary liability will cover damages from an accident that your drivers cause.
Damage to Property
When a truck hits a passenger car, it is likely to total it. When a trucking accident causes a pile-up, many cars are likely to be damaged if not totaled. A truck may also do damage to guard rails, highway signs, buildings, homes, and the road.
A trucking accident can cost a state or city millions of dollars in damages. It may back up traffic for hours and cause essential services to slow down. Liability insurance should cover the bills for property damage.
An accident that involves a truck will almost always result in injury. 74% of car accident fatalities involve a truck. It is normally the person in the passenger vehicle who dies. If one of your drivers causes death, your insurance should pay for funeral costs. However, the family of the decedent may sue you for wrongful death.
Pain and Suffering
People often experience severe injuries in trucking accidents. When a person experiences these types of injuries, they may experience non-economic damages such as anxiety or depression. A person’s ability to recover money for non-economic damages will depend on the state they live in.
Damage to the Environment
If a truck spills its load, it can cause major damage to the road and air. If a truck leaks toxic chemicals, it can cause problems for people in the area for years. Your insurance policy should include coverage for environmental damage.
Will All My Trucks Be Covered?
When you buy a trucking insurance policy, you will list all of the trucks in your fleet. If there is a truck that is not listed on the policy, it will not be covered. You should update your policy whenever you add a new truck to the fleet.
You may want to get insurance for any non-owned vehicles as well. If you are like most small trucking companies, some of the trucks you use are rented. If you have an accident in an uninsured vehicle and your driver is at fault, you may be sued by the company that owns the truck.
How Much Insurance Should I Get?
If you want to feel truly secure, you should get more insurance than the government requires. The average cost of an accident with one injury is $148, 279. When a person dies in an accident, the average cost is over $7.2 million.
When you buy an insurance policy, consider the type of terrain your drivers will travel through on their runs. You should also consider the weather conditions in the states in which your drivers travel. If you drive through sleet and snow often, you will need more insurance than if you are driving through states where the weather is mild.
Finding the perfect insurance policy can be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. It can also be confusing. You may want to use the assistance of a trucking company insurance specialist. It is best to hire a company that can shop for the perfect insurance policy for you so you can concentrate on running your business.