Insurance

hazardous waste1 (1)

What Is Commercial Hazmat Truck Insurance?

Commercial hazmat truck insurance

Hauling hazardous materials is one of the most profitable commercial trucking ventures. It’s also the riskiest as it threatens public safety.

To minimize risks and promote public safety, the federal government imposes several restrictions on hazardous materials hauling. You cannot, for instance, conduct your hazmat trucking operations without purchasing a hazmat truck insurance policy with specific coverages.

Below, we discuss all you need to know about hazmat trucking insurance: What is it, and what coverage options do you need for your hazmat commercial trucking business to succeed?

What is Hazmat Truck Insurance?

Hazmat truck insurance protects companies transporting hazardous materials from both general trucking risks and specific hazards associated with handling dangerous substances.

These policies tend to be pricier due to safety concerns, but they offer similar benefits to regular commercial trucking insurance. This coverage ensures financial protection in case of accidents, covering losses and legal fees associated with settlements.

Who Needs Hazmat Truck Insurance?

 State and federal laws require all businesses that haul hazardous materials to purchase hazmat trucking insurance. 

Hazardous material includes anything that threatens human safety, is explosive, flammable, or poisonous. Several materials fit these criteria of harmful substances and are, thus, labeled hazardous or extra hazardous, depending on how dangerous they are. 

This includes business owners who operate hazardous waste transporters. These include entities or individuals who transport waste from their source to a different destination, say a recycling, treatment, storage, or disposal facility.

Cargo Classified as Hazardous Materials

What Cargo is Classified as Hazardous Materials?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), all the examples of hazardous materials we’ve mentioned fall under nine classes of hazardous cargo:

Class 1 – Explosives

Class 2 – Gasses

Class 3 – Flammable liquid

Class 4 – Flammable solid

Class 5 – Oxidizing substances, e.g., organic peroxides

Class 6 – Poisonous (toxic) or infectious substances

Class 7 – Radioactive materials

Class 8 – Corrosives

Class 9 – Miscellaneous dangerous goods, like marine pollutants

Different classes of hazardous materials require varying amounts of liability coverage. Some, like the poisonous and radioactive classes, are difficult to insure unless you work with a knowledgeable and experienced hazmat truck insurance company. 

What Coverage is Offered by Hazmat Insurance Carriers?

 Hazmat truck insurance companies offer several insurance coverages.

Collision and Comprehensive

Collision and comprehensive hazmat trucking insurance protects your trucks and trailers from damages resulting from theft, vandalism, overturn, upset, fire, bad weather, and accidents with animals.

Pollution Liability

Pollution liability coverage covers cleanup expenses if pollutants spill in transit or during loading and unloading. This coverage also pays for damages that may occur due to the spill. 

Hazmat General Liability

Liability insurance covers incidents specific to the trucker’s actions and other non-trucking-related claims. These may include wrongful delivery of liquids. It’s worth noting that this type of hazmat truck insurance is usually a requirement for most hazardous materials trucking contracts. 

hazmat liability insurance

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is mandatory (required by law) for all hazmat haulers. It pays for third-party bodily injury and property damages when your covered auto causes an accident.  

On average, FMCSA requires you to purchase a $1,000,000 minimum liability coverage, but this depends on the hazardous materials hauled. Some hazardous cargo require a minimum of $5,000,000 liability insurance to transport. 

Excess Liability

Excess liability coverage provides additional protection against settlement claims that may exceed your insurance liability limits, up to $50,000,000. 

Loading and Unloading

Loading and unloading protects hazardous cargo when being loaded or unloaded.

Medical Payments and PIP

Medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical payments for any injuries your driver and other passengers in your car may incur in an accident, regardless of fault.

GAP Insurance

Hazmat truck and trailer values can depreciate faster than their financed value. Add-on GAP coverage protects you if your truck is stolen or totaled, covering the difference between compensation and your loan or lease balance.

Downtime Coverage

Downtime coverage helps you manage your truck payments and other essential bills if a covered loss pushes you out of business for an extended period.

Rental Reimbursement

Hazmat truck rental reimbursement coverage allows you to rent another truck and continue working if an accident puts your vehicle out of operation. It covers a chunk of the rental cost to help you remain profitable while waiting for your truck to get repaired.

Requirements for Hazmat Commercial Truck Insurance

Requirements for Hazmat Commercial Truck Insurance

The minimum insurance filing requirements for hazmat trucks depend on the types of hazardous materials hauled. 

Trucks transporting oil and hazardous waste require a minimum of $1,000,000 liability coverage. Trucks transporting gases, explosives, radioactive materials, or anything poisonous if inhaled require significantly higher coverage limits of $5,000,000 minimum. 

Haulers of hazardous cargo must comply with several safety-sensitive requirements outlined by FMCSA, including:

  • Maintaining proper placards
  • Keeping their commercial driver’s license (CDL) endorsements up-to-date
  • Purchasing required safety permits and following all applicable regulations for hazardous trucking. 

Considerations When Choosing a Hazmat Trucking Insurance Carrier

When looking for a hazmat trucking insurance carrier, settle for a leading provider with both expertise in commercial trucking insurance and knowledge about the unique risks of hazmat trucking. 

To identify the best hazmat truck insurance company, shop around for one that offers:

  • Competitive rates and discounts
  • Help comply with all safety regulations
  • 24/7 access to your insurance certificate
  • Pre-employment Screening Reports (PSPs) for potential truck drivers to help you make informed hiring decisions
  • Transparency when handling policy changes and renewals 

Final Thoughts

FMCSA subjects hazmat haulers to stricter hazmat regulations and higher liability limits than non-hazardous materials haulers for your safety and the safety of all road users. 

To follow all laws, ensure you get the right hazmat truck coverages and train your employees to handle hazardous freight accordingly. 

Take your time to find an experienced hazmat trucking insurance provider who’ll help you navigate the intricacies of hazmat trucking insurance like a business partner. So you won’t have to worry about hazmat safety violations and can conduct your business operations peacefully. 

For help financing truck repairs or replacement after an accident, reach out to us. We’ve been offering commercial vehicle loans for over 18 years and can tailor our loan packages to match your current needs.

 

box truck

Commercial Box Truck Insurance Explained

Commercial Box Truck Insurance Explained
Box trucks are a pillar of the transportation industry. They pick up where rail and truck-trailer transport leave off, delivering essential materials and goods to homes and other locations across cities or towns.

If you rely on box trucks for business operations, you require commercial box truck insurance to protect your company assets from frequent short-haul box trucking risks. This type of truck insurance coverage will secure your business in a way a standard commercial auto insurance policy won’t.

Here’s everything you need to know about commercial box truck insurance to protect your business and thrive long term.

What is Box Truck Insurance?

Box truck insurance is a commercial auto insurance for companies that conduct business operations using box or straight trucks, i.e. trucks with enclosed cuboid-shaped cargo areas.

It covers several risks that come with the constant movement of your trucks to and from warehouses, depots, and other distribution centers.

With the right box truck insurance coverages, you can protect your trucks, their drivers, and the cargo you haul on and off-road. This safeguards your entire business from financial losses due to lawsuits if any of your box truck drivers cause an accident since your insurance provider will help pay for:

  • All bodily injury and property damage claims (up to your policy limit)
  • Losses from unexpected incidents, like vandalism, theft, and natural disasters
  • Your legal fees throughout the settlement claim cases (separate from your policy amount)

types of box trucks

Types of Box Trucks

Box trucks come in different shapes and sizes based on their uses. Some common types include the following:

Parcel Vans

Because they are used for delivery services, parcel vans have multiple compartments for transporting different packages safely.

Dry Vans

The most popular type of box truck, dry vans transport a range of cargo that doesn’t require specialized handling or temperature control. They have features for loading and unloading cargo and, thus, are essential assets in the manufacturing and retail industry.

Refrigerated Trucks

Unlike dry vans, refrigerated trucks have cooling systems for transporting perishable goods. The refrigerated section maintains a controlled temperature to prevent spoilage. These trucks benefit the food, pharmaceuticals, and floral distribution industries.

Straight Trucks

Box truck insurance covers straight trucks, even though they don’t fall under the box trucks category per se. These trucks have one compartment for the driver and cargo. Most commercial truck business owners use them for delivery and moving services.

Businesses That Need Box Truck Insurance

All businesses that use box trucks for business need box truck insurance to safeguard their assets, business operations, and overall financial well-being. A few examples of these businesses include:

  • Retail shipping companies
  • Delivery services
  • Moving companies
  • Catering services
  • Construction and contracting companies
  • Landscaping and maintenance companies
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Wholesalers
  • Waste collection and disposal
  • Courier services

Box Truck Insurance Coverages

A box truck insurance policy can have various coverage options, including:

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance covers the value of the goods you haul if anything happens to them during transportation. You’ll never have to worry if the cargo you’re hauling gets damaged or stolen in transit.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage pays for your trucks’ repairs or replacement if they get damaged in non-collision incidents. These incidents may be natural disasters, fires, theft, vandalism, etc.

Collision Coverage

Collision insurance covers repair or replacement costs if your box trucks collide with other vehicles or hit objects like poles or walls.

Property Damage Liability

If you or your truck drivers cause an auto accident and damage other people’s property, your property damage liability coverage kicks in to pay for the damages.

This type of liability insurance covers repairs for the vehicles involved in the accident and any damaged buildings nearby. If the vehicles get damaged beyond repair, your insurer covers replacement costs.

box truck insurance coverage

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability insurance pays the medical bills of injured victims in an accident where you or your truck drivers are at fault. Apart from compensation for victims’ bodily injuries, this insurance covers funeral expenses if the accident leads to fatalities.

Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage is mandatory for all truck business owners. Several state laws dictate how much your minimum coverage limits for both types of coverage should be.

Also, there are more coverage options for box trucks you ought to consider, especially if you are an independent trucker with your own trucking business. Some of these include:

  • Unattended truck coverage. Adding unattended truck coverage protects your box truck when you’re resting during a long-haul trip.
  • Trailer interchange – trailer insurance protects exchanged trailers after a trailer interchange service.
  • Accessories coverage – covers truckers who carry expensive extra accessories or equipment that can get damaged in an accident.

Choose The Right Box Truck Insurance For Your Business

Different insurance companies offer various box truck commercial insurance policies at different rates. Follow these steps to find the right insurance for your business:

  1. Evaluate your business needs by considering current and future goals and your budget.
  2. Research top insurance firms that align with your needs, focusing on the top 3 to 5 options. Our guide on the best insurance choices for commercial truckers might help you here.
  3. Request quotes from these top firms and compare them based on insurance cost, customer service, and claims handling.

Assess each company’s box truck insurance cost, customer service, and how it handles claims when comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers. Learn more about this in our article on commercial truck insurance for small businesses.

insurance cover

Final Thoughts

Finding the right box truck insurance policy requires effort, but it’s a long-term investment worth your time.

You can seek the help of qualified commercial truck insurance agents or brokers to make the process easier. The best insurance brokers will help you find the most fitting policies for your business fast and assist in handling claims when necessary.

If you ever need financing to repair or replace your truck after an accident, reach out to us. At Mission Financial Services we offer several commercial vehicle loans and can customize our loan packages to your situation to help you get back to business sooner.

fleet

Guide To Commercial Vehicle Fleet Insurance

commercial vehicle fleet insurance

Purchasing commercial fleet insurance is the most efficient and convenient way to protect your business vehicles if your company heavily depends on commercial vehicles to operate.

Having multiple cars or heavy machinery on the road or job site increases your exposure to accidents and unpredictable events. Fleet insurance mitigates all the risks your business vehicles are exposed to in a way a standard commercial auto insurance policy doesn’t.

This guide contains everything you need to know about commercial fleet insurance policies to help you get the right coverage for your business vehicles. You’ll also find a few practical tips to reduce fleet insurance costs and save money, regardless of the number of fleet vehicles you have.

What is Fleet insurance?

A fleet insurance policy is a specialized insurance coverage for companies that require multiple vehicles for business purposes.

It covers your legal expenses and offers financial protection against bodily injury plus property damage after unforeseen incidents, the same way individually rated commercial vehicle insurance does. The only difference is the scope of coverage provided.

Instead of covering each business vehicle separately, commercial fleet auto insurance allows you to put all vehicles under one comprehensive policy. Doing this has several benefits administratively and cost-wise.

fleet insurance policy

Why Do You Need Insurance for a Fleet?

As a commercial fleet business owner, you need fleet insurance because of its many advantages, such as:

Adequate Financial Protection

A Commercial fleet auto insurance policy considers the heightened risks of managing a fleet and your unique business needs to ensure your company is well-protected. Without it, you might experience financial strain, preventing your business growth.

Easy To Manage

Purchasing one aggregate commercial auto insurance policy for all your company vehicles means less paperwork for your administrative staff. It’s easier to keep track of one commercial policy than to follow up on several separate policies for each vehicle. Managing claims and adjustments for many vehicles is also more straightforward with fleet insurance.

Cost-effective

Fleet insurance premiums are usually lower than the sum of the insurance premiums of several individual commercial policies. Plus, you only need to make one monthly or annual payment instead of working with multiple payment plans for each vehicle, which may include additional transaction fees.

Flexibility

Commercial fleet auto insurance covers more than one type of vehicle in a fleet. You can customize the insurance plan to cover any combination of commercial vehicles based on your business needs. For example, your fleet vehicle insurance policy may include two cars, four mini-vans, and ten semi-trucks.

Also, fleet auto insurance lets you:

  • Add or remove vehicles as your business scales.
  • Enjoy driver flexibility by insuring all your vehicles in a way that allows all employees to drive them – this is different from other auto insurance policies, like personal auto insurance, where you have to specify the drivers covered under the policy.

fleet vehicles

How Many Vehicles Are Needed For Fleet Insurance?

Most insurance companies place their fleet insurance coverage under two categories – small and large fleet commercial policies.

Trucking companies can decide what constitutes a small or large fleet for them. However, some insurance providers require a minimum of two commercial vehicles to qualify for small fleet insurance. In comparison, others require at least five motor vehicles.

As for large fleet insurance, you need at least 20 commercial vehicles to apply to some insurance companies and 30 cars to others.

Types of Fleet Insurance Coverage

Some essential commercial auto coverages offered by a fleet auto insurance policy include the following:

  • Comprehensive coverage – comprehensive coverage protects your vehicles from non-collision damages. These include damages due to theft, vandalism, bad weather, animal strikes, and other incidents not caused by vehicles crashing into each other.
  • Collision coverage – collision coverage pays for costly vehicle repairs or replacement after collisions.
  • Uninsured Motorist – uninsured motorist coverage covers physical damage and medical expenses if your covered fleet vehicles get involved in accidents where the at-fault driver lacks insurance.
  • Combined Single Limit Liability Coverage (CSL) – CSL provides two separate commercial vehicle insurance policies, i.e., bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, as one. Bodily injury liability coverage pays the medical bills of injured victims if your insured vehicle causes an accident, and property damage coverage offers compensation for any property damaged by the accident.

fleet insurance coverage

Factors That Influence The Cost of Fleet Insurance

Fleet insurance costs vary per insurer, but most of them consider the following factors to determine how much you’ll pay for coverage:

  • Policy Options – a company that purchases various coverage options will pay higher insurance premiums annually than another that gets one comprehensive bodily injury and physical damage coverage.
  • Industry risk – the business operations of some industries are riskier than others. Companies whose vehicles are constantly on the road are more likely to get involved in accidents and often pay more to insure their cars.
  • Type Of Vehicles – the type of vehicles in your fleet also affects your insurance cost. Small cars are generally less costly to insure than large trucks.
  • Age Of Vehicles – your fleet vehicles’ age also determines the total cost of your fleet insurance policy. Newer vehicles might cost you more to insure.
  • Condition Of Vehicles – insuring well-maintained vehicles is cheaper because they are safer to operate.
  • Value Of Vehicles – the value of your fleet vehicles also matters when insurers calculate your insurance rates. The higher the value, the higher your insurance premiums will be.
  • Intended Use/cargo type – commercial auto insurance for a fleet that hauls hazardous materials is more expensive than a similar auto policy for transporting non-hazardous goods.
  • Miles Driven – if your vehicles cover more miles, your insurance premiums will be higher because the chances of getting into accidents increase the longer a vehicle is on the road.
  • Driver Experience – fleet insurance costs less if your fleet drivers have more experience and their driving records are clean.
  • Medical Costs – medical payments also play a role in determining your insurance rates. If they increase, the amount required to pay for the treatment of those injured in an accident also increases. Some insurance companies pass these increased costs on to you by charging higher premiums.

Attain Excellent SAFER Scores

Information You Need For Fleet and Commercial Truck Insurance

Insurance companies require several documents before underwriting a commercial fleet auto insurance policy. Here’s a list of the documentation you’ll need to apply for fleet insurance successfully:

  • The insurance policy declarations page of your current commercial vehicle policy is essential. This document should contain all the information about your auto insurance policy – from what the policy covers to the amount of coverage, deductibles, and policy limits.
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of each commercial vehicle on your fleet and a summary of their safety features, if any.
  • Your commercial driver’s license numbers (CDLs) and their driving histories, including any infractions, citations, or violations
  • Your latest audited financial statements
  • Copies of your permanent lease and individual trip lease contracts
  • Copies of your International Fuel Tax Administration (IFTA) reports showing your vehicle mileage by state and the total mileage covered within a specified period.
  • Copies of your fleet maintenance programs and federal compliance reviews of your safety ratings

Ways to Reduce Fleet Insurance Costs

Here are a few things you can do to lower insurance costs and increase your profit margins:

Match Your Insurance Limits To The Degree Of Risk At Hand

Tailor your commercial auto insurance coverage to your specific business needs. You’ll only pay for the essential coverage you need, thus avoiding wasting money on excess coverage.

Attain Excellent SAFER Scores

Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) is FMCSA’s system containing safety-related profiles and data of motor carriers. Low surfer scores mean you have several traffic violations. With a low score, you’ll pay more to insure your vehicles adequately.

On the other hand, excellent SAFER scores mean your driving record is clean, and this helps you qualify for high-quality fleet insurance at cheaper rates.

Installing safety-related technologies

Increase Your Deductible.

Deductibles are a way of sharing FMCSA’s financial responsibility requirements for commercial vehicles with your insurance provider. It’s the amount you’ll pay out-of-pocket to cover losses after an accident before your insurer chips in. A higher deductible equals a more affordable commercial vehicle insurance policy.

Pay Your Insurance Premiums In A Lump Sum.

Paying your premiums in lump sum helps you qualify for significant discounts in most insurance firms.
Insure All Or Several Vehicles With One Insurance Firm

Most insurers also offer discounts and other incentives if the size of your fleet is large. Ask how many commercial vehicles you need to qualify for available discounts.

Improve Your Drivers’ Operating Behaviors.

Conduct ongoing training for your fleet drivers to help them maintain safe driving habits. Consistent, safe driving habits reduce your premiums.

Install Safety-Related, Risk Management Technologies

Installing safety-related technologies, like dashboard cameras, Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), and GPS trackers, improve your vehicle’s safety while on the road and when not in use. Ensuring your vehicles are always safe increases your chances of purchasing comprehensive fleet insurance at low costs.

Final Thoughts

Fleet insurance is essential for companies with more than one business vehicle. It’s the key to securing the future of your business operation.

To purchase the right fleet insurance policy for your specific company, consider your fleet size, claims history, and the role of your vehicles in daily business use. Then shop around to identify the top 3 to 5 insurers who align with your needs and compare their insurance quotes before picking the most fitting commercial fleet insurer for your specific situation.

Check out our detailed guide about commercial truck insurance for small businesses to understand what to look for when evaluating your commercial auto coverage options. You can also visit our blog to stay updated on the latest news within the trucking industry.

 

Hotshot Commercial Truck Insurance

Hotshot Commercial Truck Insurance

Hotshot Commercial Truck Insurance

Many different types of trucking businesses exist – with hotshot trucking being a popular area.

As this is a unique type of trucking, it comes with its specialized insurance requirements. This is why hotshot trucking operators need the right insurance policy that matches their business needs and operations.

If you only offer hotshot trucking services, taking out a regular commercial trucking insurance policy could waste money.

To help you out, here are some of the critical things you need to know about hotshot commercial truck insurance.

What is Hot Shot Trucking?

Hot shot trucking is a trucking and delivery service that involves transporting relatively small, time-sensitive loads. With hot shot trucking, you use smaller trucks, typically one-ton or medium-duty trucks. These are classified as less-than-truckload (LTL) vehicles.

Unlike traditional freight services that use large semi-trucks or tractor-trailers, hot shot trucking utilizes smaller vehicles that can quickly transport goods and cargo to their destination.

Hot shot trucking can cater to various industries, including oil and gas, construction, agriculture, and manufacturing, where the fast delivery of smaller loads is necessary.

The advantage of hot shot trucking is faster delivery times and more personalized service compared to larger freight carriers. This niche transportation service is valuable for its flexibility, speed, and quick response to time-sensitive transport needs.

Who Needs Hotshot Trucking Insurance?

Hotshot trucking insurance is essential for anyone who offers this trucking service.

This insurance is essential for owner-operators running smaller trucks or small trucking companies specializing in rapid delivery. Freelance drivers offering on-demand services may also need a hotshot trucking insurance policy.

Hotshot truckers require specialized insurance coverage to protect against liabilities, cargo damage, and unforeseen incidents on the road.

Getting the right hotshot trucking insurance provides financial protection and peace of mind for the transporter and their clients in the event of accidents or mishaps during transit.

Hot Shot Trucking Coverage

Hotshot trucking insurance refers to commercial trucking insurance that can be applied to specialized hotshot truckers. Coverage can include:

  • Liability Insurance: Covers bodily injury or property damage liabilities arising from accidents while operating the truck.
  • Comprehensive Insurance: Protects against non-collision incidents like theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.
  • Collision Insurance: Covers damages to the truck resulting from collisions.
  • Cargo Insurance: Protects the value of the cargo being transported against damage, loss, or theft during transit.
  • Loading and Unloading Insurance: Covers liabilities during loading or unloading cargo.
  • Towing and Storage Insurance: Covers costs related to towing and storing the truck in case of breakdowns or accidents.
  • Bobtail Coverage Insurance: Covers the truck when operated without a trailer, such as when driving back to the home base.
  • Downtime Insurance: Provides coverage for income lost due to downtime resulting from accidents or covered incidents.
  • Earned Freight Insurance: Covers the income lost if the cargo can’t be delivered due to a covered incident.
  • Equipment Coverage: Protects additional equipment used for transportation, such as trailers, chains, and tarps.
  • Debris Removal Insurance: Covers costs associated with the removal of debris resulting from covered incidents.
  • Broadened Pollution Insurance: Covers liabilities for environmental damage caused by hazardous material spills during transit.
  • Loss Mitigation Insurance: Covers expenses incurred to prevent further damage or loss after an incident occurs.
  • Medical Payments Insurance: Covers medical expenses for injuries sustained by the driver or passengers in the truck.
  • Family Emergency Expenses Insurance: Provides coverage for emergency expenses incurred by the driver’s family due to a covered incident.
  • GAP Coverage: This covers the difference between the truck’s actual cash value and the amount still owed on a lease or loan in the event of a total loss.
  • Umbrella Insurance: Provides additional liability coverage beyond the limits of primary insurance policies.

Cost of Hotshot Trucking Insurance

The cost of hotshot trucking insurance policies varies based on a range of factors.

Most importantly, your premiums depend on what types of coverage you have. The more comprehensive coverage your policy offers, the more expensive your insurance will be.

The following factors can also affect how much your insurance policy costs:

  • Type of equipment being covered
  • Coverage limits
  • Driving history
  • Cargo
  • Location
  • Deductibles

The bottom line is the more you need to be covered, the more expensive your policy will be.

Lowering the Cost of Hotshot Insurance

Want to get the best deal on hotshot trucking insurance? It’s possible to lower the cost of your premiums by:

  • Comparing quotes to see which company offers the best deal
  • Increase deductibles to lower your monthly premiums
  • Get only essential cover to reduce how much you pay

If you want to purchase hotshot insurance on a budget, only cover the essentials. This could add risks over the long run, but it will decrease your monthly premiums.

find insurance

How to Find Hot Shot Insurance Cover

Contact insurance companies specializing in commercial trucking or freight transportation and ask if they offer any specialized hotshot insurance options. Request quotes tailored to your specific needs and the nature of your hot-shot trucking business.

Comparing multiple quotes and understanding the details of coverage options will help you choose the most suitable insurance broker for your operations.

Final Thoughts

The right commercial truck insurance policy is essential for the smooth operation of any trucking business. Make sure you compare quotes and understand exactly what coverage options you have. Choosing the right policy can make a significant impact on your business.

If you’re in the hotshot trucking business, you must acquire the right vehicle. At Mission Financial Services, we make it easy for owner-operators to access the financing they need to purchase a commercial truck. Get in touch with us to see how easy the application process is.

food trucks

General Liability Insurance For Commercial Food Trucks

General Liability Insurance For Commercial Food Trucks
The right food truck insurance policy is essential for anyone operating a mobile food business.

Insurance for food trucks is vital, as it can cover your vehicle, business, and customer-related incidents. Choosing the right commercial insurance broker is essential in starting a food truck business.

Here’s everything you need to know about this insurance.

What Is Food Truck Insurance?

Food truck insurance is a specialized type designed to protect owners and operators from various risks and liabilities associated with running a mobile food business.

This insurance covers potential losses and damages that could occur while operating a food truck.

Who Needs Food Truck Insurance?

Quite simply, food truck insurance is essential for anyone operating a business with a food truck.

Regardless of the scale of operations, whether it’s a small local food truck or a more extensive mobile catering business, having proper insurance is essential to protect against unforeseen accidents, damages, liabilities, or interruptions to your business that could result in financial losses.

Basic Food Truck Insurance Cover

While each commercial insurance broker offers different plans and types of coverage, basic food truck insurance coverage typically includes two cover areas.

general liability insurance for food trucks

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance for a food truck typically covers:

  • Third-party bodily injury: This covers medical expenses if someone is injured due to your food truck’s operations.
  • Third-party property damage: If your food truck or your operations cause damage to someone else’s property, this coverage helps pay for repairs or replacements.

How much commercial general liability insurance do food trucks need? This depends on your specific business and operational plan.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance for your food truck covers:

  • Accidents and collisions: This coverage helps pay for repairs to your food truck if it’s damaged in an accident, regardless of fault.
  • Liability for auto accidents: If your food truck is involved in an accident that causes injuries or property damage to others, this coverage helps cover related expenses.

Other Insurance Coverage You Might Need

We’ve covered the foundations of food truck insurance. However, depending on your food truck operation’s specific needs and risks, additional business insurance coverage options might be worth looking into.

While this raises food truck insurance costs, it could be valuable for the right business.

insurance for food trucks

Here are some extra options to consider:

  • Business Interruption Insurance: Helps cover lost income and expenses if your food truck business is temporarily unable to operate.
  • Commercial Umbrella Insurance: Provides additional liability coverage above the limits of your general liability, commercial auto, or other primary policies in case of a significant claim.
  • Inland Marine Insurance: Protects movable or specialized property (e.g., equipment, tools) when transported over land. It can cover items off your premises, such as when your food truck is in transit.
  • Product Liability Insurance: Covers costs if someone claims your food products harmed them.
  • Liquor Liability Insurance: If your food truck serves alcohol, this insurance covers liabilities from alcohol-related incidents, such as injuries or property damage.
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance: Protects your food truck business against claims related to employment issues like discrimination, wrongful termination, or harassment.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of repairing or replacing essential business equipment that breaks down due to mechanical or electrical issues.
  • Food Spoilage and Contamination Insurance: Reimburses the cost of spoiled or contaminated food due to equipment failure, power outages, or other covered causes.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Provides medical benefits and wage replacement to injured employees. It’s mandatory in most states if you have employees working on your food truck.
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance: Covers liability expenses when using vehicles not owned by your business (such as employee-owned vehicles used for business purposes) or renting a vehicle for business use.

insurance for food trucks
What Influences Food Truck Insurance Premiums?

It’s important that you understand how food truck insurance costs are calculated. Here are some of the main factors that can influence food truck insurance premiums.

Type of Coverage

The extent and types of coverage you choose for your food truck insurance will directly impact the premium.

More comprehensive insurance for food trucks or higher coverage limits typically result in higher premiums.

Location

The area where your food truck operates can significantly affect insurance costs.

Urban areas with higher population density or areas prone to higher crime rates or traffic accidents might have higher premiums on the food truck insurance policy.

Value of Equipment and Assets

The value of your food truck, cooking equipment, appliances, and other assets you want to insure will influence the costs of food truck insurance policies. Higher-value items generally mean higher premiums.

Claims History

Your insurance history and past claims for food truck businesses play a role in determining premiums.

If you’ve had previous claims or a history of frequent claims, it might increase your food truck insurance cost.

Driving Record

If your food truck requires commercial auto insurance, the driving records of the operators can affect premiums. A clean driving record usually results in lower premiums.

Business Experience

The length of time your food truck business has been operating can influence premiums. Established businesses with a track record of safe operations might qualify for lower rates.

General food truck insurance

Security Measures

Installing security systems, fire suppression systems, or implementing safety protocols can potentially lower insurance premiums by reducing risks of theft, fire, or accidents.

Number of Employees

Your number of employees can impact premiums, especially for workers’ compensation insurance and insurance covering medical costs or lost wages. More employees may result in higher premiums.

Final Thoughts

Take time to choose and compare food truck insurance policies carefully. Like commercial property insurance, the right policy can enormously affect how your business operates.

Looking for financing for a new commercial vehicle? Then get in touch with us at Mission Financial Services – we make the process of obtaining financing easy.

 

 

 

truck insurance (1)

Best Insurance Choices for New Commercial Truck Drivers

Best Insurance Choices for New Commercial Truck Drivers
Multiple insurance companies offer commercial truck insurance policies, and their terms vary based on several factors. Identifying the best trucking insurance provider from the many options available can be challenging if you’re a new commercial truck driver.

To make things easier for you, we’ve curated a list of the best insurance choices for new truck drivers you should consider.

We weighed how well each company meets the insurance needs of new commercial truck drivers in terms of coverage types, policy customization options, pricing, state and federal filings, customer service, and more.

Commercial Truck Insurance For New Drivers

Tailoring commercial truck insurance is crucial for new drivers. Company truck drivers may not need coverage for equipment breakdown, while lease owner-operators must scrutinize agreements for additional required coverage.

Owner-operators under their authority should ensure comprehensive coverage for their vehicle and cargo to support commercial operations.

General Requirements for New Drivers

Both federal and state laws provide specific guidelines that truck drivers must meet to prove they have sufficient coverage to protect their commercial vehicles if an accident occurs.

These laws vary from state to state, but there are a few general requirements your trucking insurance policy must have, including:

semi truck accident insurance

Primary Liability Insurance

Primary liability insurance is the minimum auto liability coverage mandated for owner-operators. It provides compensation for bodily injury and physical damage in at-fault accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific filing requirements for commercial truck drivers, and states set minimum insurance limits for compensation. Check your state’s requirements before purchasing to determine your commercial truck insurance cost.

Physical Damage Coverage

Physical damage insurance protects commercial vehicles against several risks while on the road. These risks include collisions, theft, vandalism, physical damage due to harsh weather, and more.

You can purchase physical damage liability insurance in two ways:

  • As collision coverage to cover your truck after crashes
  • As comprehensive coverage to protect your truck against all collision and non-collision losses, including fires, theft, vandalism, bad weather, you name it.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance covers bodily injuries and physical damages involving your trucking business but unrelated to driving your truck. It covers incidents from your day-to-day commercial operations, like loading delivery errors and slip-and-fall accidents.

Non-trucking Liability Coverage

Non-trucking liability insurance covers you when driving your truck for non-business purposes.

hazmat tanket

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance

Motor truck cargo insurance is vital for freight transportation, particularly hazardous cargo. Coverage requirements vary by state; in Mississippi, which has affordable commercial truck insurance, hazmat transporters need a minimum of $5M, while household goods movers require $300,000.

In addition to the general requirements above, new drivers can benefit from several optional insurance coverage options. Some include rental reimbursement, medical payments, and trailer interchange insurance. Check out our comprehensive guide on commercial vehicle insurance to learn more about this.

Best 5 Commercial Truck Insurance Providers for New Drivers

The best commercial truck insurance companies for new drivers have several features. They meet state insurance liability requirements for different commercial vehicles, offer discounts to help you save on monthly premiums, provide assistance in filing several federal and state paperwork, and have stellar customer service.

With this in mind, here are the top 5 commercial trucking insurance carriers to consider if you’re a new driver:

1. Progressive Commercial Insurance Company

Progressive Insurance, with a solid nationwide reputation, provides comprehensive commercial truck insurance for various vehicles, including optional coverage like garage keepers liability and roadside assistance.

The company handles insurance needs, from filing documents to assisting with liability claims.

Note, however, that primary liability coverage is restricted in Hawaii, Louisiana, Alaska, and New York for owner-operators with an operating radius over 500 miles.

You must also liaise with an agent to purchase coverage, even though the website provides detailed info about the company’s policy offerings.

roadside assistance

Pros

  • Being one of the largest and oldest insurance companies, progressive offers competitive pricing for new and experienced drivers.
  • Offers several discounts to reduce monthly payments, including discounts for using electronic logging gadgets and bundling multiple coverage types
  • Offer free online insurance quotes.

Cons

  • Some coverage options are limited to the driver’s operating radius.
  • New drivers may not qualify for some discounts.

2. Nationwide Insurance Company

Nationwide is another highly-ranked commercial truck insurance company that offers several coverage options. On top of all essential coverage, Nationwide provides specialty coverage options for specific types of motor truck cargo and trucks not offered by most competitors. The company also has specialized pricing for new drivers, plus discounts for using anti-theft devices.

Pros

  • Excellent customer service
  • Affordable specialty coverage that most competitors don’t provide
  • Online quotes are available
  • Tailored pricing for new drivers and discounts

Cons

  • You can only purchase insurance through a local agent
  • Coverage has higher monthly premiums than other insurance carriers
  • It’s not available in some states.

insurance needs of truckers

3. Sentry Insurance

Unlike Progressive and Nationwide insurance carriers, Sentry specializes in commercial trucking coverage. The company only caters to the commercial insurance needs of truckers. It has in-house insurance claim adjusters who are trucking specialists.

Pros

  • Excellent customer service team with professional experts on commercial truck insurance coverage
  • Offers flexible coverage for new and experienced drivers
  • Available in all states
  • They have a user-friendly online portal for making monthly payments and filing claims

Cons

  • Services are available through local agents only
  • They don’t offer online quotes.

4. Lancer Insurance

Lancer Insurance Company is highly sought after for its customer-centric approach. With a team of independent agents, it connects trucking companies and owner-operators with tailored commercial truck insurance.

The company’s call center operates 24/7, offering around-the-clock claims reporting and coverage maintenance. Additionally, they provide free towing for damaged trucks after covered accidents through their commercial auto and garage system.

Pros

  • Responsive customer service with a 24/7 call center
  • Handles claims in-house
  • Free towing if you get involved in an accident covered in your policy

Cons

  • Although licensed nationwide, not all coverage options are available in each state.

 easy-to-use mobile app

5. Evolution Insurance Brokers

Evolution Insurance offers commercial truck insurance to high-risk entities. By high risk, we mean owner-operators who haul hazardous cargo, those with poor driving records, and those with previous criminal or other legal records. The company is well-versed in the trucking industry and can advise on the best specialized high-risk coverage options for such trucking businesses.

Pros

  • Offers a range of specialized trucking insurance options that meet the needs of various short and long-haul trucking businesses.
  • It has an easy-to-use mobile app for fast claims reporting and more.

Cons

  • Average pricing on coverage is higher compared to most competitors

What Commercial Truck Insurance Does Not Cover

Most commercial truck insurance providers have a list of commercial truck operations and items they don’t cover. These exclusions differ per insurer. It’s advisable to confirm whether an insurance company has any exclusions before signing up with them. A few of these may be:

  • Intentional damage – commercial insurance companies don’t cover injuries or damages as a result of deliberate harm to third parties or their property
  • Personal property of drivers
  • Business property in the vehicle involved in a covered accident

Final Thoughts

When choosing the best commercial truck insurance, consider your current and future business needs. You want to purchase a policy that fits your business like a glove and offers enough room to expand your business operations.

All the insurance choices on our list provide the necessary commercial insurance new drivers need, and their customer service is supportive.

When comparing quotes from multiple insurers, there are several critical features you need to look for. Check out our detailed guide on everything you need to know about commercial truck insurance for small businesses for more on this.

You can also visit our blog to learn more about commercial insurance, including how much trucking insurance costs.

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