The trucking industry is the engine that powers the US economy with approximately 11 million trucks delivering 14,547 million tons of cargo in 2013. This is according to data published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In addition, road crashes involving trucks and buses increased by 22% in 2014 compared to the previous year. This raised the cost of large truck and bus crashes by 7% to $112 billion in 2014. Luckily, trucking companies can avoid these losses by purchasing long haul insurance. Here are five tips for finding the right long haul trucking insurance coverage:
It is wise to start by shopping around and gathering as much coverage information as you can. Leverage the power of the Internet and social media platforms to get information from diverse sources. Pay more attention to information published on reputable sites, in peer-reviewed publications, or authored by industry experts. This is important because anyone can publish content online and make unsubstantiated claims. Shopping around will also enable you to compare the cost of monthly premiums. Additionally, you should seek the opinion of an insurance broker or industry insider about insurance products that offer the best value for money.
Most long haul trucking insurance policies incorporate features such as:
However, take note that carriers may use different names/terms to define the features in their policies. What’s more, features could be defined using legalese that lay people do not understand. For this reason, it is advisable to go through coverage terms and conditions carefully. If you are unsure of certain clauses, consult a legal expert with in-depth knowledge of the insurance and trucking industries.
Although insurance policies come with exclusions, majority of consumers rarely investigate these exemptions. This is not wise for several reasons. Firstly, some carriers use exclusions to hide financially disadvantageous terms from policy buyers. In addition, some carriers use exemptions to avoid the responsibility of paying out compensation. With this in mind, unscrupulous carriers tend to hide exclusions in fine print. This means you should thoroughly read and understand the policy.
Investigate the financial stability of a carrier exhaustively before signing up for coverage. For publicly traded carriers, find out if they comply with acceptable financial reporting standards and guidelines/standards instituted by regulatory authorities such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The aim is to ensure that you select a carrier with a solid foundation that can honor its obligations and will be around for years. Do not believe the word of smooth talking executives or glitzy ads because the subprime mortgage crisis and the ensuing financial crisis showed that con artists can bamboozle Wall Street experts easily.
When evaluating monthly premiums, pay special attention to deductibles and interest rates because they play a significant role in determining the amount you will be expected to pay monthly. This may necessitate wading through fine print and multiple price comparison engines. Cross check figures published by third parties with those published by carriers to avoid the risk of using outdated data. At the same time, do not base your choice solely on cost. Instead, you should choose a product that fully meets your coverage needs.
The US trucking industry is the backbone that supports supply chains across multiple industries including e-commerce, hospitality, and health. Unfortunately, cargo deliveries expose trucking companies and their drivers to billions of losses annually, which cannot be managed effectively without the right insurance coverage. Some of the main factors to consider when shopping for long haul trucking insurance include the financial stability of an insurer, policy features, monthly premiums and exclusions.